Maruti Suzuki’s first premium crossover and the first to be offered in all diesel options has sold 24,000 units through its premium Nexa showrooms over the last seven months. The crossover was launched in August 2015 and was the first to be retailed from the carmaker’s premium Nexa outlets.
That means the S-Cross is roughly clocking sales of about 3,142 units monthly. Of this about 70 percent sales are for the DDiS 200 1.3-litre variant with the remaining being the DDiS 320 engine option powered by a 1.6-litre diesel. Interestingly, the 1.6-litre S-Cross is delivered based on specific customer bookings with few cars readily available at outlets.
When the S-Cross was first launched a question in the mind of most people related to whether MSIL had got its pricing right. The crossover rolls out across four variants across both engine options – Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha and is priced between Rs 8.34 lakh and Rs 13.74 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). (Sigma- Rs 8.34 lakh, Delta-Rs 9.15 lakh, Zeta-Rs 9.99 lakh and Alpha-Rs 10.75 lakh) in DDiS200 with the DDiS 320 1.6L priced at Rs 11.99 lakh for Delta trim, Rs 12.99 lakh for Zeta, and Rs 13.74 lakh for the Alpha variant).
This works out to a price differential of roughly around Rs 2.99 lakh between the top-end Alpha models, Rs 3.65 lakh for the base models and if both the Delta variants are compared then roughly around Rs 2.84 lakh. This was expected to be a factor that could dent the sales of the DDiS 320 S-Cross when a customer had the option of purchasing a compact SUV at a similar pricing.
This has more or less proved to be true, albeit RS Kalsi, executive director (sales and marketing), Maruti Suzuki India, says that sales of the S-Cross have begun to pick up. The company had targeted sales of 2,500-3,000 units per month from the limited number of Nexa outlets and they have been more or less able to achieve that figure from the 100 outlets planned till March 2016.
Not the kind of volumes that Maruti is usually associated with but the strategy is once the network is expanded further, sales of around 4,000 units per month can be the retail target. Kalsi feels the concept of a crossover is still novel for buyers but gradually they are warming up to the S-Cross.
Interestingly, the top-end Alpha 1.3-litre diesel is faring the best with a 2-3 week waiting for specific colours. Even the Zeta limited edition rolled out a couple of months ago has drawn customers. The 1.6-litre S-Cross is sought after only by niche customers who opt for long distance travel for which they require more power and torque. For city movement, the smaller diesel option is preferred.
Overall, between the premium Baleno hatchback that is also retailed through the Nexa outlets, and the S-Cross, the Nexa outlets have sold 70,000 cars with the Baleno clocking waiting periods of 6-9 months depending on the variants. Clearly, it has a larger public appeal clubbed as it were in the popular hatchback segment.
But RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, sounds optimistic about the company’s first model to be retailed from the Nexa showrooms, commenting that S-Cross sales are improving and the model is performing as per the company’s market projections.
Also read: Maruti Suzuki records its best-ever sales in FY2015-16