Maruti now India’s biggest SUV maker as Grand Vitara completes 1 year

    Grand Vitara has also become the fastest midsize SUV to hit 1 lakh sales milestone.

    Published On Sep 29, 2023 06:07:00 PM

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    Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara sales
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    The Grand Vitara celebrated its first anniversary with a landmark achievement of selling over 1 lakh units, making it the fastest midsize SUV to hit the milestone. The achievement also propelled its maker Maruti Suzuki to grab the lead in the SUV segment for the first half of this financial year with a 22 percent market share.

    Speaking to Autocar India, Shashank Srivastava, the company’s senior executive officer, Marketing and Sales, said “The Grand Vitara’s achievement is even better than what the numbers suggest because for much of the last year, we had production issues as a result of the semiconductor shortage. Only from July did we see freer availability.”

    Indeed, sales for the Grand Vitara only surpassed the 10,000 per month mark in March, six months after its launch. Last month saw 11,818 units sold.

    Hybrid success

    A part of the Grand Vitara’s success can be put down to the strong-hybrid powerplant that it borrows from partner Toyota; this is in addition to the mild-hybrid and CNG powertrains on offer. With competitive pricing and high mileage delivered, strong-hybrid versions of the Grand Vitara have attracted interest and also garnered around 22 percent of total sales, while CNG is about 14 percent. “Hybrids today stand at about 1.7 percent of the industry and if you compare that with EVs, which is about 2.4 percent of the overall industry, this is very good,” says Srivastava.

    The percentage of hybrid sales is also significant given the limited number of models on offer as compared to EVs. Maruti will continue with hybrid tech as it introduces EVs to its portfolio, Srivastava said, adding, “In 2030, our powertrain mix will be 15 percent electric, 25 percent hybrid, and the remaining 60 percent will come from a mix of CNG, flex-fuel etc.”

    Newer SUV portfolio drives up sales

    Apart from the Grand Vitara, newer models like the Fronx and Jimny have also helped shore up Maruti’s SUV sales. Even though the Brezza has been a volume seller, the lack of additional models and the failure of the S-Cross to establish itself meant that the carmaker was only the fourth largest player as far as SUVs were concerned. The new and refreshed portfolio has thus clearly strengthened its SUV game.

    Incidentally, these new models, which retail under the company’s Nexa outlets, have also propelled its premium dealership channel into the No. 2 spot in the industry. “If you look at only Nexa sales, for the first time it is now touching a 15 percent share, which, in this quarter, makes us the number two automotive retailer.”

    Additionally, the SUV success also means that Maruti Suzuki has the lead in the Rs 10 lakh-20 lakh price category, with a market share of 23 percent. Something that Srivastava says he is very proud of given that most people felt that Maruti could not sell higher priced and premium vehicles.  

    Will expect volumes from EV

    As Maruti Suzuki looks to further its SUV progress, Srivastava says the company is also looking to be a significant player in the EV space with the introduction of its midsize electric SUV scheduled to arrive before the end of FY25. “Just like our hybrids are not about simply introducing the tech, we expect good volumes with EVs too, and it is not simply to offset any diesel-pollution levels,” quips Srivastava. 

    Also See:

    Toyota Rumion CNG bookings temporarily halted

    Tata Nexon vs Maruti Brezza, Fronx: mileage compared

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