Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s fortunes have been sagging for some time now. India’s largest car-maker has seen its market share dip from 45% in 2010-11 to 39% in 2012-13. The company’s much-hyped A-Star and Estilo models failed to make a mark in the market, and similar has been the fate of their sedan SX4. A slowing economy as well as competition from Hyundai and Honda has led to Maruti Suzuki losing its grip over the car market.
But plans are afoot to regain market share in the second fastest growing automobile market of the world. According to Livemint, the auto major plans to launch two new models. The first one is codenamed YL7 and will be unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo 2014. This model would be based on the small-car platform, and will take the place of the underperforming A-Star along with Estilo.
The other new offering is given the moniker of YL1, and is slated to replace the sedan SX4. MotorBash readers already know about this development as we have shared the exclusive details back in April 2013(Read Details). The sedan might make its way to the showrooms around the third quarter of next year. It will be based on a similar platform, but will possess additions to help thwart the threats from Hyundai’s Verna as well as Honda’s City. It was Maruti Suzuki’s Esteem that had struck the right tone for the sedan segment; however their subsequent offering Baleno failed to cut much ice. SX4 was even worse-off, with its sales having declined by 63% to 6,707 units.
Both these planned models are essential for Maruti to claw its way back to the meat of the market-share pie, especially the planned small car. It is in this segment that most of the sales take place in India, hence it would help Maruti Suzuki rack up some decent margins. To compete against the hugely successful i10 and other cars, this new small car could be expected to boast of larger interior and boot space.
The Indian car market has been in a rough ride for some time, courtesy a sagging economy, ballooning inflation as well as volatility in hydrocarbon prices. It has shriveled by 6.69% in 2012-13, and 2013-14 is not expected to be much better. Maruti Suzuki seems to have plotted a wise move by taking two models off the shelf as the small car segment appears to be littered with products that don’t offer enough difference in choice. This will also offer the new model the much needed breathing space.