The Maruti Vitara Brezza had its world premiere at the Auto Expo 2016. The sub-four-metre SUV has driven past the half-a-million (5,00,000) unit sales milestone in the domestic market. Cumulative sales of the game-changing SUV – launched on March 8, 2016 – now total 5,08,673 units at the end of December 2019, 46 months since its launch. It is estimated that the Vitara Brezza sold a total of 13,658 units in December 2019, which is likely to make it the UV leader for the last month of 2019.
From launch itself, the Vitara Brezza has proved to be a game changer, helping Maruti grab the UV market share, only coming under pressure in the past eight-odd months. In October 2018, it clocked its highest-ever monthly sales of 15,082 units. And, in July 2019, it recorded its lowest yet – 5,302 units. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the Vitara Brezza has been instrumental in giving Maruti Suzuki India a new charge, handing it the sales lead in the utility vehicle market. Presently, the company has a 25.07 percent share of the UV market, with Mahindra & Mahindra second with 20.45 percent and Hyundai Motor India third with 19.18 percent.
The first 1,00,000 sales for the Vitara Brezza came up in 12 months, the 1,50,000-unit sales mark came up in a scant 17 months, the 2,00,000 mark was crossed in 20 months, the 3,00,000 milestone was in 28 months, the 4,00,000 landmark in 35 months, the 4,50,000 milestone in 41 months, and half-a-million units in 46 months.
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The 5,00,000-unit milestone would have been achieved much sooner if it weren’t for the sales slowdown following Maruti Suzuki India's plans to drop diesel cars from April 2020. Add to that the overall market slowdown and the arrival of newer rivals like the Hyundai Venue and Mahindra XUV300 (both also available with petrol engines). However, not all is lost though as Maruti Suzuki is fighting back.
New petrol-engined Vitara Brezza in the works
Maruti Suzuki is preparing a refreshed Vitara Brezza that is likely to debut at the upcoming 2020 Auto Expo in February – four years after the model's world premiere at Auto Expo 2016. The compact SUV will come with a petrol engine for the first time. The current model’s ageing 1.3-litre diesel engine will be replaced by the Maruti Ciaz and Ertiga’s 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol powerplant tuned to produce 105hp and 138Nm of torque. This petrol-automatic Vitara Brezza will get the same 4-speed torque-convertor automatic as Maruti’s midsize sedan.
The new Vitara Brezza 1.5 petrol will rival the likes of the Hyundai Venue (83hp, 1.2 petrol and 120hp, 1.0 turbo-petrol), the Mahindra XUV300 (110hp, 1.2 turbo-petrol), the Ford EcoSport (123hp, 1.5 petrol and 125hp, 1.0 turbo-petrol) and the Tata Nexon (110hp, 1.2 turbo-petrol).
The Vitara Brezza diesel, with the current 1.3-litre unit, will soldier on until the BS6 norm deadline. In April last year, Maruti Suzuki announced that the brand will stop selling diesel-powered cars from April 1, 2020. However, there is a possibility that the recently launched 1.5-litre diesel engine from some Maruti models could make a comeback in BS6 form a little later.