Maruti Bets On ‘Mini SUV’ S-Presso To Drive Sales Amid Slowdown
India’s largest carmaker is betting on its “Mini SUV” to aid growth in the entry-level segment, and to boost its sales at a time when the industry is going through its worst slowdown in more than two decades.
With hatchback S-Presso, which Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. calls a “Mini SUV”, the automaker is eyeing first-time buyers who prefer sports utility vehicles. “This (S-Presso) caters to a very large segment, and people are looking at this kind of vehicle at this price point,” Shashank Srivastava, executive director for sales and marketing at Maruti Suzuki, told BloombergQuint on the sidelines of the car launch. “We are very hopeful that this will give us very large volumes.”
Domestic sales of passenger vehicles had already plunged 31.6 percent to 196,524 units in August from a year earlier, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
While Maruti’s domestic wholesales in August fell 36 percent year-on-year to 94,728 units, its mini hatchback segment—that includes Alto, Wagon-R—declined by nearly 70 percent in August from a year earlier, the data showed.
While refusing to comment on the capacity of the new vehicle which will be manufactured at its Gurugram plant, Srivastava said the carmaker is prepared for any volumes to meet the demand.
The automaker said it is also looking to export this product to countries such as South Africa, Sri Lanka and the ones in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Latin American region. The vehicle, which is BS-VI compliant, will be sold through the company’s Arena set of dealerships.
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