Monday, June 24, 2024

Maruti eyes 25% of India SUV market

NEW DELHI : Maruti Suzuki India Ltd is aiming to capture a 25% share of the rapidly expanding sport utility vehicle (SUV) market, more than doubling its share by the end of the current fiscal year, a top executive said.

To achieve the target, India’s biggest automaker plans to focus on boosting sales of its SUV models that cost 10 lakh or more and consolidate its brand positioning through its premium Nexa sales channel.

“In FY22, our share in the SUV market was 10.2% and just over 12% in FY23. But if you look at each quarter in the last fiscal, our Q4FY23 SUV market share was 17% because of the addition of the Grand Vitara. So we grew from 10.2% to 17%. So now we have to increase this 17% share to a fixed 25% for the whole year. Let’s say we will begin with 20% in Q1 of FY24 and go up to 27% in Q4 so that for the full year, we are at around 25% market share,” said Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director of Maruti Suzuki.

Srivastava expects the SUV segment to account for about 47% of the 4.10 million passenger vehicles sold in the current fiscal year, with an estimated size of 1.9 million units. Maruti will need to sell around 475,000 SUVs to achieve its target.

The automaker is set to launch its latest crossover SUV Fronx by the end of the month, followed by its urban lifestyle offering Jimny, an iconic Suzuki nameplate which will be offered as a four-wheel drive here. It already sells its Grand Vitara mid-SUV and Brezza compact SUVs in the market.

Maruti Suzuki’s strategy is to corner a quarter of the SUV market and become the top-most player in the segment, beating rivals Hyundai, Kia, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors. It has received more than 16,000 bookings for the Fronx so far, and nearly 24,000 for the Jimny, which it believes will ultimately settle into a more niche, lifestyle segment, with the Fronx driving the bulk of the volumes out of the two products, along with the Grand Vitara.

“The thing with niche products like Jimny is that there is always a set of passionate customers who will just go and book at the first opportunity, whereas the Fronx is an absolutely new vehicle, and the brand proposition needs an explanation to the customers. And I would guess the positioning of the brand for Fronx is the bigger challenge than the Jimny, although the rewards in terms of volumes will be much higher,” Srivastava said.

He explained that incremental bookings for Jimny after the first month have slowed down compared to Fronx, where bookings are now picking up.

With its four SUV products, Maruti Suzuki will cover all major SUV sub-segments in the market, but it does expect the formation of new sub-segments in categories which have big markets, like the mid-SUV segment.

“We are covering the market in a good way. However, one interesting segment that’s emerging in the mid-SUV space is that of a three-row SUV, where some of our competitors have launched new products. We will examine and take a decision in the future, but right now, we are very focused on establishing these products,” Srivastava said.

Maruti Suzuki is focused on enticing the young SUV buyer to its fold through its refreshed product range to regain the market share it has ceded to rivals in recent years.

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