India’s biggest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, plans to enter the fast-growing sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment at a time when increasing competition in its focus area. With cut throat competition in the small car segment and declining market share, the new SUV could help the company to increase its market share. Rumours suggest that the company will showcase a new SUV concept at the upcoming at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi and will be launched by end of 2013 or early 2014
The upcoming SUV from Maruti India could be placed under the Rs 20 lakhs segment. The auto major showcased the new concept MUV codenamed R3 at the 2010 Indian Auto Expo. After two years of rigourous development program, leading car manufacturer of the country is all geared up to launch the Maruti R3, christened, Ertiga at 2012 Auto Expo.
The new SUV from Maruti India is likely to set new benchmarks, which it was unable to attain with Maruti Gypsy and Maruti Grand Vitara. Both the SUVs are at the extreme ends, while Gypsy is the perfect example of a classic off-roader to lure the consumers who are on a look out for an adventurous ride on difficult terrains of Indian roads, the Grand Vitara sits diagonally opposite to its sister. Maruti Grand Vitara is a premium crossover imported as a Completely Built Unit but unable to retain the demand with the growing competition in the segment. Maruti India now envisages delving back into the segment with renewed hope to bring back the lost market share.
It is also unclear whether the new SUV be a five-seater like the current Grand Vitara or a seven-seater like the previous version. However, the best seller SUVs in India right now – Mahindra Scorpio, the newly launched XUV500, Sumo Grande etc – is all seven seaters. So, that is the size segment that Maruti will probably aim
However, this project is still under consideration, Maruti India has carefully avoided commenting on the engine specification without leaving much scope to respond on the production details as well. Nevertheless, manufacturer has been generous enough in asserting that the mini SUV will be thoroughly built in India. That goes without saying if it might seek help from Suzuki or otherwise.
Also see – Maruti RIII MPV christened as ‘Ertiga’
Source – LiveMint