Maruti Suzuki tops SUV charts with new models

So far in FY24, Maruti has around 22% share in the SUV market.  (PTI)
So far in FY24, Maruti has around 22% share in the SUV market. (PTI)


Its market share for SUVs in September is close to its FY24 target of 25%

NEW DELHI : Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has surged ahead in the rapidly expanding SUV (sport utility vehicle) segment, marking a turnaround after several quarters of market share loss due to declining small car sales and lack of new SUV launches, following its exit from the diesel-engine market in 2020.

Maruti has made significant progress in realizing its 2023-24 target of 25% share in India’s SUV market, consistently increasing its share for three straight months, spanning July through September. In July and August, the company’s SUV market share exceeded 24.5%, and it expects a similar performance in September. According to production data from April and August, it has already secured a leadership position in this segment. During the ongoing month, the firm expects to achieve similar dispatch numbers as in August, totalling 189,000 units.

Graphic: Mint
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Graphic: Mint

According to two industry insiders with direct knowledge of the data, September is expected to witness the highest-ever PV sales in a single month at 361,000 units.

So far in FY24, Maruti has around 22% share in the SUV market. It has also set an ambitious goal to secure one-third of the SUV market and 50% overall PV market share by 2030. Maruti Suzuki’s non-SUV market share currently stands at 55%.

With the introduction of new SUV models, such as the SUV Brezza and lifestyle crossover Fronx, its mid-sized SUV Grand Vitara, as well as off-roader Jimny, Maruti has filled the gaps in its passenger vehicle portfolio. Besides, improved supplies during the festive season ensure easy access to these vehicles, contributing to a significant surge in sales and helping it retain the leadership position. SUV-maker Mahindra and Mahindra gives Maruti Suzuki tough competition for the top spot, and its strategy is to be the “true SUV player", with its portfolio of “full-SUVs", barring the Thar and XUV300 to set it apart from the sub-compact SUV segment.

“SUVs as a segment of the passenger vehicle market has been growing rapidly, from just 14.5% of the PV market 10 years ago to 23% in 2018-19 and rapidly rising to 43% last year. Now, cumulatively it is at 47.5% by the end of August," said Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director of Maruti Suzuki.

“We have four SUVs in our portfolio, including Grand Vitara, Brezza, Fronx, and Jimny. In the first quarter of FY24, we had an issue with the semiconductor components supply, leading to a shortfall in supplies of the Brezza and Grand Vitara. We also hadn’t launched the Jimny and Fronx back then, which impacted SUV volumes. However, since July, we have been able to produce all our vehicles in much larger numbers across the board."

“As our supplies improved, we were in a position to claim the top spot in SUVs in July and also in August. But in April-July, we were just a little short of the cumulative number one, a shade behind Mahindra. Cumulatively, from April-August, the market share is at 22%. Now we are clearly the number one and expect this trend to continue as we are producing good numbers of the Grand Vitara and Jimny," he added.

The SUV market in India is highly competitive, with around 50 models of major OEMs currently vying to dominate this segment. “Our market share in SUVs was about 8.5% in Q1FY23. We clearly had a very small share of a very rapidly growing segment. It was the main hurdle in our quest to achieve a 50% market share target. Although Brezza remained the best-selling SUV, it competed against 47 models. So, we needed to flesh out our portfolio. We are at 25%, but if we get 33% SUV market share, we will be at 50% overall market share target.“ Srivastava said.

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