Maruti Grand Vitara achieves 100,000 sales in 12 months
Launched on September 26, 2022, Maruti Suzuki India’s flagship model wins over buyers with its fuel-efficient hybrid system, clever packaging and interior quality. Despite formidable competition in the midsize SUV segment, the premium Grand Vitara has carved a niche for itself in a short span of time.
With the festive season underway and strong sales tailwinds for its SUVs, India’s passenger vehicle market leader, Maruti Suzuki, has yet another reason to celebrate. The Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara midsize SUV, launched on September 26, 2022, at Rs 10.45 lakh, has driven past the 100,000-unit sales milestone in just a year since its launch.
From launch through to end-August 2023 (see sales data table below), the Maruti Grand Vitara has clocked a total of 99,317 units, just 683 units shy of the 100,000-unit mark.
With 12-month sales of 99,317 units, the minuscule gap of 349 units to 100,000 units would have been covered in the first two days of September.
Given the daily sales average of 349 units for the June-August 2023 period, the midsize SUV would have crossed the 100,000 milestone in the first two days of this September. The Grand Vitara’s best monthly wholesales till now have been in August 2023 – 11,818 units – as Maruti Suzuki ensured its dealers were well stocked to cater to festive season demand. It’s very likely that the model’s September 2023 numbers will be better than August’s.
A BIG DRAW ON MULTIPLE FRONTS
A premium product, outside and in, the Grand Vitara entered the midsize SUV market at an opportune time, just when the segment was beginning to boom, and has surfed the wave of demand coming its way. The 12-variant-strong model’s on-road pricing (Mumbai) starts at Rs 12.99 lakh for the base Sigma variant and goes upwards to Rs 23.68 lakh for the top-end Alpha+ variant.
The highlight of the Grand Vitara is the two engine options it shares with the Toyota Hyryder. The proven 103hp, 1.5-litre K15C petrol mild-hybrid engine, which also powers many Maruti Suzuki models (Brezza, Ertiga, XL6), comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. There’s also the Toyota-sourced 92hp, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine paired to an electric motor that develops 79hp and 141Nm of torque. Combined, the hybrid powertrain produces 115hp and is paired to an e-CVT gearbox. Maruti claims an efficiency of 27.97kpl for this powertrain.
Looks-wise, other than the front, the side body panels, tailgate and even the rear bumper with integrated tail-lamps are identical to the Toyota Hyryder. A chrome applique on the C-pillar, different alloy wheels and full-width LED light bar on the tailgate, though are unique to the Maruti.
The interiors of the GV and the Hyryder are also similar, the sole difference being the colour schemes. Both get the same steering wheel design that’s also seen on other newer Maruti Suzuki models. The touchscreen infotainment, instrument cluster and all the switchgear are identical on both SUVs as well.
In terms of features, top-spec variants of the Grand Vitara get a panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, wireless charger, ambient lighting, connected car tech, ESP, hill-hold assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, and six airbags.
CNG VARIANT ADDS HEFT AND SALES TAILWIND
In January 2023, four months after launch, in a move designed to expand its addressable target market, Maruti Suzuki, which is also India’s CNG market leader, introduced a CNG variant to the Grand Vitara and expanded its overall CNG model range to 14 models.
Priced at Rs 12.85 lakh, ex-showroom (Delta MT) and Rs 14.84 lakh (Zeta MT), the CNG variant is powered by the proven K-series 1.5-litre, petrol engine which develops peak power of 64.6kW at 5500rpm and max torque of 121.5 Nm at 4200rpm in CNG mode. Offered with a five-speed manual gearbox, the Grand Vitara S-CNG delivers a claimed fuel efficiency of 26.6 km/kg. To put things into perspective, the Baleno CNG delivers 30.61km/kg. The only other competition the Grand Vitara CNG has is its cousin, the Toyota Hyryder CNG, both of which are built at TKM’s Bidadi plant.
January 2023 was also when the first batch of made-in-India Grand Vitaras was exported to Latin America from the Kamarajar Port, thereby becoming Maruti Suzuki’s 17th export model. The Maruti Suzuki models with the highest export demand are the Dzire sedan, the Swift, S-Presso and Baleno hatchbacks and the Brezza SUV.
In its first year, the Grand Vitara has seen two recalls. On January 24, 2023, the company issued a recall for 11,177 Grand Vitaras manufactured between August 8 and November 15, 2022 to inspect the rear seatbelt mounting brackets. The Grand Vitara’s first recall was on January 18, 2023, as part of a six-model, 17,000-unit recall to check and replace the airbag controller.
POWERING MARUTI SUZUKI'S SUV SALES AND UV MARKET SHARE
Last September, the Maruti Grand Vitara entered a highly competitive and growing midsize SUV market bristling with well-entrenched rivals like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, and cousin Toyota Hyryder. What is creditable is that not only has the Grand Vitara, which is sold from Maruti’s premium Nexa channel, helped expand the segment but in the process carved a niche for itself.
That the GV would do well in the marketplace was known. It was the big winner at Autocar India 2023 Awards, driving away with the Car of the Year 2023 as well as Midsize SUV of the Year accolades, having impressed the jury with its fuel-efficient hybrid system, clever packaging and quality.
It is estimated that the Grand Vitara has, till now, received around 210,000 bookings (of which 100,000 units have been sold) with 45,000 bookings for the strong-hybrid trims, which have a waiting period of around 3 months. This means that of Maruti Suzuki’s total pending orders of 350,000 units, the Grand Vitara accounts for 31% of them.
In the April-August 2023 period, Maruti Suzuki has sold a total of 247,196 UVs (SUVs and MPVs), which gives it a market share of 25.68%, ahead of Mahindra & Mahindra (173,637 units / 18% market share), Hyundai Motor India (150,793 units / 15.66% market share) and Tata Motors (142,321 units / 14.78% market share). Considering that the Grand Vitara accounted for 48,022 units and a 19.41% share of Maruti Suzuki’s UV in the first five months of FY2024, clearly this is one midsize SUV that is growing its sales footprint at a rapid pace.
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