In India, hatchbacks account for around 50 per cent of the overall passenger vehicle sales. Since the past couple of years, the top ten vehicles sold in India have usually been hatchbacks. However, with the arrival of the Maruti Vitara Brezza things have changed.
In May 2016, Maruti Suzuki registered a growth of around 144 per cent in the utility vehicle segment owing to the stellar buyer response to the Vitara Brezza. In July 2016, it became the sixth most popular model with 10,232 units sold. Even the Hyundai Creta and the Renault Kwid, which features SUV-like styling, have turned out to be a popular buy. Clearly, prospective new car buyers seem to have developed a new liking for SUVs.
Considering this trend, Maruti Suzuki has decided to expand its model line-up and offer more SUVs and bigger cars. It is being reported that India's largest carmaker is planning to focus on segments other than small cars. The company thinks that prospective buyers are now expecting more premium vehicles.
According to a Times of India report, Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO of Maruti Suzuki India, has said that the company is excited and encouraged by the buyer response to the Vitara Brezza and the Ciaz. Originally entry cars had big volumes, but now people expect a little more premium cars. We have to prepare and respond to all these expectations. The Indian customer is upgrading and expecting more premium vehicles," he further added.
Currently, Maruti Suzuki has two manufacturing plants in Gurgaon and Manesar which can annually manufacture 15 lakh cars. Ayukawa has said that the company will work towards increasing this number by 10 per cent. To achieve this, the company will be adding a third production shift at both plants. The company's plant in Gujarat is likely to begin operations in 2017 with an initial capacity of 2.5 lakh units. The Ignis will be manufactured at this plant and is expected to launch sometime next year.
Source: Times of India