Maruti Brezza breaks through a million sales in India, last 100,000 sold in just 8 months

Launched on March 8, 2016, the popular compact SUV has surpassed the million-sales milestone in 94 months with the new CNG variant adding tailwind to demand. What's more, in the first 8 months of FY2024, the Maruti Brezza is the best-selling UV in India with 111,371 units and ahead of the Tata Nexon.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 24 Dec 2023 Views icon8801 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Maruti Brezza breaks through a million sales in India, last 100,000 sold in just 8 months

Eight months after it recorded cumulative sales of 900,000 units in India, the Maruti Brezza has breezed past the 10,00,000 or million-units milestone in India’s ultra-competitive utility vehicle (UV) market. The game-changing compact SUV’s drive to a million units has taken 94 months or 7 years and eight months from launch on March 8, 2016 through to early December 2023.

As per SUV industry data analytics (see sales data table below), the Brezza (previously Vitara Brezza) is estimated to have sold a total of 996,608 units from market launch through to end-November 2023 – just 3,392 units shy of the million mark, which will have been crossed in the first week of December 2023. The Brezza has been averaging monthly sales of 13,921 units or 3,480 a week or 497 units every day.

From launch in March 2016 to end-November 2023, the Brezza is estimated to have sold 996,608 units, just 3,392 units shy of the million mark which it would have surpassed in the first week of December 2023. 

Maruti Brezza: currently the best-selling UV in India

The Maruti Brezza has sold an estimated 111,371 units between April and November 2023, averaging monthly sales of 13,921 units. Maruti Suzuki India has sold a total of 414,631 utility vehicles comprising the Brezza, Ertiga, Fronx, Grand Vitara, Invicto, Jimny, S-Cross and XL6 (up 82.52% YoY / April-November 2022: 227,164 UVs). This means the Brezza would have contributed 27% or the highest UV model sales in the fiscal year to date.

If the compact SUV maintains the same sales momentum in the remaining four months of FY2024, the Brezza could well go on to clock an estimated 167,055 units – its highest for this model in a fiscal year after the 157,880 units in FY2019.

Hisashi Takeuchi, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India with Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer (Marketing & Sales), at the launch of the second-generation Brezza on June 30, 2022.

What has helped further accelerate sales is the introduction of the Brezza CNG variant launched in mid-March 2023. This came on the back of the company’s success with the launch of the second-generation model on June 30, 2022. Prior to that, the Brezza had started to lose its sheen to arch rival Tata Nexon, which has been India’s best-selling utility vehicle in FY2022 and FY2023. But Maruti Suzuki and the Brezza are fighting back and how.

Interestingly, the Brezza sales in the first 8 months of FY2024 make it the best-selling utility vehicle in India at present, 593 units ahead of the Tata Nexon – India’s best-selling UV in FY2021, FY2022 and FY2023 – which has sold an estimated 110,778 units. Only two other UVs have sold in excess of 100,000 units in April-November 2023 period – the Hyundai Creta (108,584 units) and the Tata Punch (102,326 units).

Maruti Suzuki India with 414,631 units has a 25% share of the UV market in the April-November 2023 period, with the Brezza contributing 27 percent. 

As a result of the Brezza’s strong performance, as also of its other UVs, Maruti Suzuki India is the UV market leader by a strong margin – its 414,631 UVs sold in April-November 2023 constitute handsome 83% YoY growth (April-November 2022: 227,164).

The best-selling Brezza (111,371 units) is followed by the Ertiga (91,743 units) Fronx (84,701 units), Grand Vitara (78,509 units), XL6 (29,944 units), Jimny (15,476 units) and the recently launched Invicto MPV (2,887 units). As a result, Maruti’s UV market share has jumped to 25.43% from 17.16% a year ago, when it was just below Mahindra & Mahindra’s 17.34% share, and just 2,352 UVs behind M&M

Compact market mover and shaker

That the Brezza compact SUV would be a UV market mover and shaker was known, breezing past the half-a-million or 500,000 sales milestone in January 2020. While the first 100,000 unit sales came up in 12 months, the 150,000-unit sales mark was crossed in 17 months, the 200,000 mark in 20 months, the 300,000 milestone  in 28 months, the 400,000 landmark in 35 months, the 450,000 milestone in 41 months, and half-a-million units in 46 months.

The next 200,000 units were sold in 24 months, with the run from 600,000 to 700,000 coming up in 11 months (January 2021-November 2021: 106,431). While the 700,000-800,000-unit sales run bettered that in 10 months, the next 100,000 sales to 900,000 took just eight months just as they have for the run from 900,000 to a million units.

Maruti Suzuki launched the Brezza CNG, which has a fuel efficiency of 25.51 km/kg, on March 17, 2023, a move which has paid dividends. 

Petrol power replaces diesel, Brezza CNG checks in
Given the humongous demand for SUVs, particularly compact SUVs, the Maruti Brezza would have surpassed the million-units mark much sooner if it weren’t for a slowing down of its sales following Maruti Suzuki’s decision to exit the diesel market in April 2020. Add to that, the pandemic-induced market slowdown and the arrival of newer rivals like the Hyundai Venue and Mahindra XUV300, both also available with petrol and diesel engine options against Maruti's sole petrol-engined Vitara Brezza, launched on February 6, 2020.

A little over two years later, on June 30, 2022, the carmaker launched the second-generation model, the new Brezza (which does without the Vitara prefix). Offered in four trims – LXi, VXi, ZXi and ZXi+ – the petrol Brezza is powered by Maruti's new 1.5-litre, K15C engine that debuted on the Ertiga and XL6 facelifts and develops 103hp and 137 Nm and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. The petrol-only SUV is the only one in the segment to feature mild-hybrid tech. Maruti Suzuki claims a maximum fuel efficiency of 20.15kpl for the manual versions, while the automatic versions return 19.80kpl. 

In mid-March 2023, the Brezza became India’s first compact SUV to get CNG power. Maruti’s 14th CNG-powered model, the Brezza CNG is sold in four trim levels – Rs 924,000 for the entry-level LXi variant, Rs 10.59 lakh for the mid-level VXi MT, Rs 11.99 lakh for the top-spec ZXi trim and Rs 12.15 lakh for the dual-tone ZXi.

The Brezza CNG is powered by the same 1.5-litre K15C DualJet engine as in the CNG versions of the Ertiga and XL6 MPVs. The engine, which is offered with only a five-speed manual gearbox, develops 101hp and 136 Nm in petrol-only mode; however, the output dips to 88hp and 121.5Nm in CNG mode. Maruti Suzuki claims that the Brezza CNG offers a fuel economy of 25.51km/kg.

Over the past few years, with petrol and diesel prices hitting new highs, demand for CNG vehicles has risen and Maruti Suzuki is capitalising on the market demand. From around 76,000 units in FY2018, CNG sales of CNG variants have risen year on year to 106,443 units in FY2020, 157,954 units in FY2021, 234,196 units in FY2022 and an estimated 329,000 units in FY2023. As per Vahan data, Maruti Suzuki has sold a total of 263,352 CNG vehicles in April-November 2023, up 43% YoY (April-November 2022: 184,129 units). The company has a monthly manufacturing capacity of around 35,000 CNG cars, a considerable ramp up of about 9,000 units from its earlier capacity of 26,000 cars in July 2022.

All said and done, the Maruti Brezza seems well set to drive towards a new fiscal year high in FY2024. Will it continue to be the best-selling UV in the coming four months of the ongoing fiscal and unseat the Tata Nexon in FY2024? Stay tuned in as we bring you the latest updates on the vehicle sales number-crunching front.

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