MSI Executive Director (Marketing and Sales) Shashank Srivastava, during an analyst call, dropped some strong hints towards a possible launch in the mid-size SUV segment
New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India has had a successful run with its entry-level SUV, Vitara Brezza. The company has, however, failed to make a mark in the mid-size SUV segment. The current product in the segment, S-Cross hasn't been able to compete with the likes of a new generation of mid-size SUVs like Creta and Seltos, despite an update last year.
Now, Maruti Suzuki seems to be eyeing the segment for a second chance. MSI Executive Director (Marketing and Sales) Shashank Srivastava in an analyst call dropped some strong hints towards a possible launch.
Shrivastava said, "In the mid-SUV, our market share is actually quite low, even though Vitara Brezza is leading in the entry-SUV segment. In the mid-SUV, we have the S-Cross, which we recently launched with a new engine in August."
He further added, " I think it has given us suboptimal numbers so far, which we intend to increase in the coming years."
He noted that the company is looking at the space carefully.
"So, yes, we will have a product plan but I am really constrained. I really can't speak about the future product plan in that segment.
"But yes, we are cognisant of the fact and we are looking at this segment very, very carefully. And, definitely, we will see some action there," Srivastava said.
He acknowledged that the company's overall market share in the multiple purpose vehicles (MPV) segment is getting pulled down due to "suboptimal" performance in the fast-growing SUV segment.
"When you look at the overall picture with the SUV (segment), and that is where I think the issue is, our market share is just 13.2%. Although, we are the market leader by far, as far as the entry SUV (segment) is concerned," Srivastava noted.
He added that in the mid-SUV, the S-Cross's performance has been suboptimal. "That is where our market share gets pulled down in the overall MPV segment."
He acknowledged the fact that for the company to maintain a market share of around 50% in the domestic passenger vehicle segment, it is important to have a large footprint in the growing SUV segment.
"I think...that as far as retaining that large market share (50 pc), one of the constraints seems to be our current market share in the SUV segment," Srivastava noted.
He added that MSI is strong in the entry SUV segment, while the premium SUV remains small. "So, the area to focus is the mid-SUV segment."
In 2020-21, MSI's market share in the passenger vehicle (PV) segment hovered around 51%.
Commenting on the automaker's performance in the rural areas, Srivastava said that from about 38.5% share in overall sales last year, it has now gone up to 41%.
"Going forward, I think the rural demand still continues to hold, although urban demand also came back strongly in the fourth quarter of last year," he said.
Srivastava added that as of now it appears that the rural market would continue to see the upswing going forward. This is on account of kharif sowing and rabi crop being very good and the monsoon is expected to be near normal, he added.
With inputs from PTI
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