Maruti Grand Vitara gets 53,000 bookings, 43% for strong-hybrid trims

by Mayank Dhingra 15 Sep 2022


Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has received over 53,000 bookings until September 13, for its upcoming midsize SUV – the new Grand Vitara. Bookings had opened on July 11, 2022.

According to the company, almost 43% or roughly 23,000 of these pre-orders are for the strong-hybrid trims of the crossover that is set to go on sale this festive season.

The new Grand Vitara is a global model designed and developed by Suzuki in Japan, and will be produced in India at the company's global alliance partner Toyota's plant in Bidadi, Karnataka. The crossover will rival the likes of the Korean duo of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, and also give a fight to EuropeanSUVs in the form of the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun.

Maruti Suzuki says while the remaining 57 percent of the bookings are for the variants equipped with Suzuki's own mild-hybrid technology, there could be a shift once prices are announced.

While Toyota Kirloskar Motor has already partially revealed prices of the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder – its badge-engineered version of the new Grand Vitara – Maruti Suzuki is only likely to reveal prices by the end of this month.

The new Grand Vitara will go head to head with the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, and also give take on the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun in the Indian midsize SUV market.

Potential to be a midsize SUV segment disruptor
The company, however, is confident that the midsize SUV has a strong chance to disrupt the segment. "What I feel will turn out to be very positive for the Grand Vitara is the sheer range of options on offer," said Shashank Srivastava, senior executive officer, Marketing and Sales, MSIL.

The new Grand Vitara will come with a Suzuki mild-hybrid and a Toyota-sourced strong-hybrid powertrain coupled with an e-CVT drivetrain. The crossover would also have an all-wheel drive option, a segment-first feature that is likely to give it an edge over its competition.

"Within the SUV segment, it will attract different customers, those who are looking at a hybrid, the convenience of an automatic, or the capabilities of an all-wheel drive SUV," Srivastava said.

With the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos dominating the midsize SUV segment within India's passenger vehicle market, MSIL is confident that the new Grand Vitara will end up eating into the sales of its main competing brands as well.

"As it happens with any new model, they end up uplifting their respective segment. We expect a bit of both - cannibalisation of existing models within midsize SUV segment as well as its overall expansion with the entry of the Grand Vitara," Srivastava said.

"Within the SUV segment, it will attract different customers, those who are looking at a hybrid, the convenience of an automatic, or the capabilities of an all-wheel drive SUV," Srivastava said.

He further revealed that the all-wheel drive or AWD variants of the Grand Vitara have received around 5-7 percent of the total bookings so far garnered for the SUV.

Launched way back in 2015, the Hyundai Creta has become a force to reckon with in the midsize SUV segment in India with the crossover clocking sales of 62,616 units between April and August 2022, registering a 13 percent year-on-year uptick over last year's 55,528 units sold in the same period.

Its Korean cousin Seltos that entered the market only in 2019 with the foray of Hyundai Group company Kia into the country, immediately rose to become another formidable brand in the market, selling 39,040 units between April and August 2022, and registering a noticeable 7 percent year-on-year growth compared to sales of 36,514 units in the same period of 2021.

While MSIL has an edge in terms of the new Grand Vitara's product attributes such as two hybrid powertrains as well as an all-wheel drive system, the completion too is well placed in terms of myriad options like a diesel, turbo-petrol and naturally-aspirated powertrain. The battle in India's midsize SUV segment is set to intensify and the even as the last word will go to the customer, "we are optimistic about the Grand Vitara," Srivastava signed off.

https://www.autocarpro.in/feature/inside-maruti-suzuki%E2%80%99s-cuttingedge-r&d-facility-92617


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