The Maruti Vitara Brezza, which had its world premiere at the Auto Expo 2016, has driven past the half-a-million units milestone – 500,000 units – sales milestone in the domestic market. Cumulative sales of the game-changing SUV, launched on March 8, 2016, now total 508,673 units till end-December 2019, 46 months since launch. It is estimated that the Vitara Brezza sold a total of 13,658 units in December 2019, which is likely to make it the UV leader for the last month of 2019.
From launch itself, the Vitara Brezza has proved to be a game-changer and helped Maruti grab UV market share, only coming under pressure in the past eight-odd months. In October 2018, it clocked its highest-ever monthly sales of 15,082 units. And, in July 2019, it recorded its lowest yet – 5,302 units. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the Vitara Brezza has been instrumental in giving Maruti Suzuki India a new charge and the utility vehicle market leader; at present the company has a 25.07 percent share of the UV market, with Mahindra & Mahindra second with 20.45 percent and Hyundai Motor India third with 19.18 percent.
While the first 100,000 unit sales for the Vitara Brezza came up in 12 months, the 150,000-unit sales mark came up in a scant 17 months, the 200,000 mark in 20 months, the 300,000 milestone was crossed in 28 months, the 400,000 landmark in 35 months, the 450,000 milestone in 41 months, and half-a-million units in 46 months.
The 500,000-unit milestone would have been achieved much sooner if it weren’t for a slowing down of sales following Maruti Suzuki India announcing its plan to drop out of diesel cars from April 2020. Add to that been the overall market slowdown and the arrival of newer rivals like the Hyundai Venue and Mahindra XUV300, both also available with petrol engines. Not all is lost though as Maruti Suzuki is fighting back.
New petrol-engined Vitara Brezza in the works
Maruti Suzuki is readying a refreshed Vitara Brezza, which is likely to debut at the upcoming Auto Expo 2020 in February – exactly four years after the model's world premiere at Auto Expo 2016. The compact SUV will come with a petrol engine for the first time. According to Autocar India, the current model’s ageing 1.3-litre diesel engine will be replaced by the Maruti Ciaz and Ertiga’s 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol powerplant tuned to produce 105hp and 138Nm of torque. The Vitara Brezza petrol-automatic will be equipped with the same 4-speed torque convertor unit as Maruti’s midsize sedan.
The new Vitara Brezza 1.5 petrol will rival the likes of the recently launched Hyundai Venue (83hp, 1.2 petrol and 120hp, 1.0 turbo-petrol), the Mahindra XUV300 (110hp, 1.2 turbo-petrol), the Ford EcoSport (123hp, 1.5 petrol and 125hp, 1.0 turbo-petrol) and the Tata Nexon (110hp, 1.2 turbo-petrol).
The Vitara Brezza diesel, with the current 1.3-litre unit, will soldier on till the BS VI norm deadline. Maruti Suzuki had announced in April last year that the brand will stop selling diesel-powered cars from April 1, 2020. However, there is a possibility that the recently launched 1.5-litre diesel engine that’s available in some Maruti models could make a comeback in BS VI form a little later.
Update on January 13: Maruti Suzuki confirms sales analysis
On January 13, Maruti Suzuki India officially confirmed this analysis with a statement that read: “Within just 4 years of its launch, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, India’s No. 1 compact SUV, crossed 5 lakh unit sales.”
Shashank Srivastava, executive director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India said, “Offering a complete package of class-leading features, stylish design, and outstanding fuel efficiency, the most awarded compact SUV, Vitara Brezza gained immense popularity within months of its launch. Designed and developed by the team at Maruti Suzuki using Suzuki core technology, Vitara Brezza struck the right chord with Indian customers. The 500,000 unit sales in just 47 months is testimony of the customer’s increasing preference for stylish and feature packed compact SUV. We extend our gratitude to our customers for their constant support. We are confident that Vitara Brezza will continue to win hearts of customers across India.”