The stylish Maruti Baleno premium hatchback, which is sold exclusively from Maruti Suzuki India's Nexa showrooms, has driven past the 700,000-unit sales milestone in the domestic market. Launched in October 2015, the Baleno has, till end-January 2020, clocked cumulative sales of 720,733 units, comprising 616,867 petrol variants and 103,866 diesel.
The Baleno was the fastest premium hatchback to reach the 600,000 unit milestone in the country and it looks like it is the first to surpass the 700,000 unit mark too. The Baleno, which retailed from over 360 Nexa showrooms in more than 200 cities and towns across India, is a spacious and feature-rich premium hatchback that competes with the Hyundai i20 and the Honda Jazz.
When the Baleno was introduced a little over five years ago, it captivated hatchback buyers with its snazzy looks and technologically advanced features such as new 17.78 cm Smartplay infotainment system, multi-information display and the option of CVT transmission.The enhanced comfort levels and driving pleasure helped clinch the deal with many customers.
Sales impacted by slowdown in FY2020
Look at the Baleno's India sales statistics below and you can see that it has been a match-winner for Maruti Suzuki. A total of 720,733 units over 52 months. Do the math and it works out to be a monthly sales average of 13,860 units every month since launch.
For the past five fiscal years, the Baleno has consistently registered year-on-year growth but the prolonged depressed market condition has impacted its sales in the ongoing fiscal. In the April-2019 to January 2020 period, the hatchback has sold a total of 152,422 units, down 14% (April 2018-January 2019: 177,122)
FY2017: 120,804 (170%)
FY2018: 190,480 (57%)
FY2019: 212,330 (11%)
FY2020: 152,422 (-14%) April 2019-Jan 2018: 177,122)
100,000: 12 months
200,000: 21 months
300,000: 27 months
400,000: 33 months
500,000: 38 months
600,000: 44 months
700,000: 51 months
Look at the pace at which the Baleno clocked the big numbers and it's apparent India took to this happy hatchback with much vigour. The racy drive from 200,000 to 600,000 units saw the Baleno notch each 100,000 unit sales milestone with aplomb, in barely six months each time. It is only in the ongoing fiscal year that the tun to the last 100,000 units to the 700,000 unit milestone has taken seven months. Blame that on the market downturn and poor consumer sentiment.
Nonetheless, it looks like demand is revving up again. In the past few months, Baleno sales have seen a marked rise. In January 2020, the car recorded its best monthly sales in April 2019-January 2020 period with 20,485 units or 660 units each day, beating December 2019's 18.464 units. Not surprisingly, it is the No. 2 best-selling passenger vehicles in India in January, just 1,921 units behind the Maruti Dzire.
Meanwhile, with just 40 days left for mandatory BS VI regulations to kick in, Maruti Suzuki has pulled the plug on the Baleno RS. The souped-up hatchback has been discontinued in its BS IV avatar and owing to limited success, the model is unlikely to see a BS VI upgrade. The 75hp, 1.3-litre diesel engine of the standard Baleno is also slated to get axed from the line-up in the near future, following Maruti Suzuki’s decision to exit the diesel market completely. That will leave the premium hatch with just the pair of 1.2-litre petrol engines that have been BS VI-compliant since April last year.
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