Maruti Suzuki India's premium hatchback, the Baleno, has crossed the 2,00,000-unit milestone in the domestic market. Although an official confirmation of the statistic from the company is awaited, our sister publication, Autocar Professional's analysis of the Baleno's sales in India reveals the Baleno has indeed achieved the landmark in a scant 20 months since launch.
Following the official launch on October 26, 2015, the snazzy-looking hatchback took less than a year to hit the 100,000-unit sales milestone and followed it up a scant six months later by driving past the 150,000 mark in 18 months.
The Baleno, which has been averaging sales of a little over 16,000 units for the past three months, has sold a total of 197,660 units till May 2017. Given this pace of sales, it can be surmised that the Baleno would have sold an additional 5,500 units early this month, thereby crossing the 200,000-unit landmark.
The Baleno, not surprisingly, has been a consistent member of the monthly Top 10 best-selling passenger cars. In fact, its drive into the country's best-selling passenger cars list began barely a month after launch. Right from November 2015 through May 2017, this premium Maruti has been in the Top 10 at least 16 times, with the best-ever sales achieved in April 2017 – 17,530 units. Of the total 197,660 Balenos sold between October 2015 and May 2017, 153,743 were petrol variants and 43,917 diesel.
The Baleno is the Nexa channel's most successful model, and has proven to be a volume seller in the premium segment since the S-Cross met with a tepid response. Interestingly, the popularity of the hatchback hasn't dimmed despite nearly three subsequent price hikes – in January 2016 by up to Rs 12,000 followed by another one in March 2016 up to Rs 16,699 and in August 2016 by Rs 10,000 (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi). On March 3, 2017, Maruti launched the sportier Baleno RS in a bid to expand the car's appeal.
With new manufacturing capacity coming on stream at the new Gujarat plant, and existing production of the premium hatchback at the Manesar plant, Maruti is producing more Balenos than ever before to cater to the surging domestic market demand for the car.