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Maruti Suzuki is India’s largest carmaker for almost 2 decades now, and up until recently, had more than 50 percent market share in the India’s passenger car segment. The company had a market share of 51.22 per cent in 2018-19 and 51.03 per cent in 2019-20. However, in recent years, the market share has dropped drastically and the company’s top management says lack of products in SUV segment is one of the prime reasons for losing out on market share. 

Maruti Suzuki reported a 43.38 per cent market share in FY22 and 47.7 per cent in FY21. As per Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing and Sales), Maruti Suzuki India, the company is planning an onslaught of SUVs, CNG cars and electric vehicles along with adding new-age technologies to existing vehicles for putting Maruti Suzuki back on the top again. We have a look at what all Maruti Suzuki is planning to recapture the Indian market-

CNG vehicles

With no intention of making a comeback in the diesel segment, Maruti Suzuki is focusing on increasing its play in the CNG segment to bring in additional volumes. As per Srivastava, in the non-SUV segment, the company’s market share was at 67 per cent level, with leadership positions in both hatchback and MPV segments. Most of these hatchback and MPV products of Maruti get CNG option called S-CNG company’s in-house developed tech. Going forward, Maruti Suzuki might add CNG to other top selling vehicles like Baleno to capture the market. 

SUV segment

One of the main reasons for Maruti Suzuki to lose a large chunk of market share is the lack of products in the fast growing SUV segment had impacted its overall market share. Currently, Maruti Suzuki retails only Vitara Brezza in the compact SUV segment. There’s no mid-SUV or sub-compact SUV. Elaborating on the segment dynamics, Srivastava noted that while the company led the entry-level SUV segment with Brezza, it was only in the robustly growing mid-SUV segment where it lagged behind the competition with tepid response for S-Cross.

“So, overall our market share in the SUV vertical is just 12 per cent. This is where we are now making efforts to bolster our presence,” Srivastava said. He noted that while the company struggled with sub par performance in the segment, some of the competing companies were getting as much as 60 per cent of their sales from SUVs.

Electric vehicles

While other companies are working to bring affordable electric car in India, Maruti Suzuki says they will launch multiple electric vehicles starting 2025 and not now. As per Srivastava, the problem with EVs right now is that the volumes are low with sales of just around 16,000 units last year, accounting for just 5 per cent of the overall passenger vehicle sales.

He also noted that transition from hybrid technology, which features both internal combustion engine and battery, to pure battery electric vehicles could be a better option for India which currently lacked charging infrastructure. Srivastava said that affordability was a big issue and there was a cost involved with the strong hybrid technology. “So we have to be very careful which direction we have to go,” he noted.

New-age features

Another factor that has been pulling back Maruti Suzuki sales, forcing young buyers to look for alternatives was the lack of new-age tech and safety features. Maruti Suzuki has been a traditional automaker for the longest of time focusing on increasing mileage, reducing vehicle cost and increasing service network. However, young buyers today need features to add value proposition to their vehicles. Maruti Suzuki, who has 6 out of the 10 best selling car in India is now rejuvenating the products in each segment.

Starting with Nexa Baleno, it became the first car to get HUD and 360 camera followed by Ertiga and XL6 launch, both getting many new features. For eg, XL6 now gets ventilated seats, TPMS among other features. Maruti has also increased the number of airbags from 2 to 4. 

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