With Grand Vitara, Maruti Suzuki aims to conquer mid-size SUV bastion
Maruti Suzuki unveiled the Grand Vitara, its latest model in the compact SUV segment, in India on Wednesday, July 20. The Grand Vitara SUV, which is based on the recently unveiled Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, is expected to phase out Maruti's previous offering in the segment S-Cross SUV. The latter did not have much success compared to Creta or Seltos, the two leading SUVs in the segment from Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia. With Grand Vitara, Maruti Suzuki sees yet another chance to disrupt the segment and take the lead.
Hisashi Takeuchi, MD and CEO at Maruti Suzuki India Limited, was quoted by news agency PTI saying, "In every segment except SUV, we are the market leader by a distance. It is only in the SUV that we are behind, so we need to catch up. Clearly, we have to become number one in the SUV space also."
The SUV segment in India now contributes nearly half of all passenger cars sold, which makes it a lucrative segment for carmakers. Maruti is one of the leaders in the sub-compact SUV segment with the Brezza. After S-Cross's failure to be a runaway hit like Brezza, and the growing preference for premium SUVs in the country, Maruti decided to take another shot at the segment. "It (segment) is getting bigger and bigger and so the competition is also getting intense," Takeuchi said.
Also check these Cars
Grand Vitara, by its looks and features, is sea different from the S-Cross. But will it be enough to make its mark in the segment and take on rivals like Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos or even the likes of Tata Harrier, Skoda Kushaq or Volkswagen Taigun? Takeuchi said, “ I don't know..we would like to do it as quickly as possible. We did not have products in the segment. We had S-Cross but that is more like a crossover type of a product. So this is the first time that we have introduced a product in the vertical. We will now look to maximise our volumes."
Maruti Suzuki has opened the pre-bookings for the Grand Vitara for ₹11,000. The official launch and price announcement of the Grand Vitara are expected to be revealed in August. The success of the Grand Vitara will depend a lot on how Maruti Suzuki decides the pricing of the SUV.