Everything official about it now. Maruti Suzuki India has issued a press release confirming Autocar Professional’s December 5, 2021 analysis of the Maruti Baleno recording a million (10 lakh) unit sales since launch in October 2015. The Baleno has raced to a million units in the domestic market in just six years.
Commenting on the milestone, Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India, said, “Since its launch, the Baleno has enjoyed unparalleled leadership in the premium hatchback segment. It has set new benchmarks in design, safety, and innovation. With a staggering market share of over 25%, the Baleno has led and redefined the premium hatchback segment.:
He added, "Inspiring over a million customers and bagging numerous awards, Baleno has truly won the hearts of both customers and auto experts across the country. Today’s evolved urban Indian customer is self-motivated, tech-savvy, and bold in their life, and the Baleno is just the right companion for these discerning minds. Baleno makes for a premium style statement on wheels with its extraordinary road presence and drive experience. We are confident the Baleno will go on to reach even greater heights in the future as well.”
What the stats reveal
The stylish premium hatchback, sold exclusively from the carmaker’s Nexa showrooms, was launched in October 2015. Till end-October 2021, it has clocked cumulative sales of 10,02,082 units, comprising 898,216 petrol variants and 103,866 diesel. Having exited the diesel engine market in March 2020, the Baleno, like all Marutis, now thrives only on petrol power. With this kind of pacy sales, the Baleno, not surprisingly, is a regular in the Top 10 Passenger Vehicle sales chart.
En route to the million-units milestone, the snazzy Baleno has consistently set new benchmarks: it was the fastest among premium hatchbacks in India to reach the 600,000 unit milestone – in 44 months. While it zipped past the 700,000 mark in 51 months, the 800,000 sales landmark was surpassed 10 months later, the 900,000 mark in 66 months and now the million mark in just 72 months.
Nexa's best-selling model
The Baleno is a match-winner for Maruti Suzuki, racing ahead of the premium hatchback competition. It is also the best-selling Nexa model. Of the 1.4 million Nexa-retailed premium cars over 6 years (till July 2021), the Baleno commands a 65% share.
Of the six fiscal years that it has been sold in the domestic market, the Baleno has registered year-on-year growth in all except FY2020 and FY2021. FY2020 with its prolonged depressed market conditions impacted sales, keeping them down to 180,413 units, down 15 percent YoY. And in the Covid-impacted FY2021, it sold 163,445 units, down 9 percent YoY. But what is admirable about the performance is that these numbers have been achieved in a very difficult market environment, and that too without a diesel option.
As per Autocar Professional’s India sales and data analytics, the Baleno, priced from Rs 627,000 onwards (on-road Delhi), has averaged monthly sales of 13,917 units since launch and 12,844 units in the ongoing fiscal year. What’s not to like? It may be recollected that on April 5, we had forecast the Baleno zipping past the million-units mark in August 2021 – we were short by two months. The Baleno turned a millionnaire this October.
New Baleno launch in early 2022
The Baleno story is set to continue in a new avatar soon. There’s a new Baleno coming up with fully overhauled interior and exterior, the first big changes to the model following its last update in 2019. According to Autocar India, spy shots have revealed a restyled front and rear end, and a hugely improved interior with top-notch features.
Other than the cosmetic updates, the 2022 Baleno will continue to be powered by the existing 1.2-litre petrol engine in two states of tune – the non-hybrid 83hp version and the 90hp version with 12V mild-hybrid technology, offered with a 5-speed manual and CVT automatic gearboxes. It is slated to be launched between February and March 2022 and will continue its premium hatchback battle with the Hyundai i20, Tata Altroz, Honda Jazz and the Volkswagen Polo.