Maruti Suzuki India ltd, the country’s largest vehicle manufacturer, on Monday launched its new entry-level hatchback S-Presso, at a price range of 3.69 lakh to 4.91 lakh. With muted sales over the last one year, the company will bank on the new product to revive its fortunes during the festival period and beyond.

The S-Presso is the first entry-level hatchback from Maruti after the launch of Celerio in 2014. Maruti will also export this product to countries such as South Africa, Sri Lanka and the ones in the ASEAN and Latin American region. The company has invested 640 crore for developing the product.

According to Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director, Maruti Suzuki, mini sport utility vehicle, S-Presso has been designed, developed and validated using Suzuki’s global development processes. While working with counterparts in SMC, Japan, engineers from Maruti Suzuki worked on this car.

The new offering from Maruti is powered by the BS6 compliant, one-litre petrol engine and will be sold from the company’s Arena set of dealership.

“We believe that the current turbulent times are a short-term challenge and continue to have confidence in India’s long-term growth story. We realized that the entry-level compact segment needs a fresh design language. One that is bold, confident and dynamic. Our engineers and designers have created this new Mini SUV that carries the attributes desired by today’s customer," according to Ayukawa.

Domestic sales of passenger vehicles had plunged 31.6% to 196,524 units in August from a year earlier, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).

This was the tenth straight drop in domestic passenger vehicle sales and the worst since Siam began compiling monthly sales data in 1997-98. Passenger vehicle sales have been declining since July 2018.

Maruti’s domestic wholesales in August fell 36% year-on-year to 94,728 units. This was the third time since July 2017 that the firm dispatched fewer than 100,000 vehicles to its dealerships in a particular month.

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