Automobiles News

maruti: How India’s largest carmaker, Maruti, claimed the throne of the top SUV maker


In a remarkable feat, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has swiftly emerged as the leading SUV manufacturer, surpassing its initial goal set in 2022. With an ambitious plan to capture the numero uno spot in the SUV market by the end of FY 2023-2024, Maruti Suzuki not only met but exceeded expectations, doubling its overall SUV market share from 10.5 percent in 2022 to an impressive 23 percent, a TOI report stated.

The surge in demand for MSIL’s SUVs has been nothing short of extraordinary, with SUV sales now constituting over 49 percent of the company’s overall demand. A pinnacle moment occurred in November 2023 when SUVs commanded a staggering 53.3 percent of Maruti Suzuki’s total sales, reflecting the unparalleled success of the automaker in the SUV domain.

How did Maruti Suzuki achieve this remarkable feat?
Diverse SUV Portfolio Appeals to All Segments: Maruti Suzuki strategically expanded its SUV portfolio, offering a diverse range of models catering to various SUV sub-segments. Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer, Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki, told TOI, “The Brezza is doing roughly 14,000 to 15,000 units per month, and the Grand Vitara is doing about 11,000 to 12,000 units per month.” The comprehensive lineup, including the Fronx and Jimny 4×4, has contributed significantly to MSIL’s 22.5% market share in the SUV segment.

Challenges in the Mix: However, challenges persist, with the Invicto hybrid facing lower sales due to restricted supply from joint venture partner Toyota Kirloskar. Limited to 400 to 500 units, the Invicto faces an 11-month waiting period, underscoring the constraints in meeting the soaring demand.

Streamlined Supply Chain and Surging Demand: The year 2023 has proven to be a stellar one for passenger vehicle sales, with the industry poised to surpass four million unit sales for the first time. Maruti Suzuki witnessed unprecedented success, achieving ‘best-ever’ months throughout the year. “At the beginning of the year, there was a large number of pending bookings in the industry. Estimates are almost one million, and after July, the semiconductor issue got sorted out, and production could increase,” Srivastava told TOI.

Reduced Waiting Periods: With improvements in the supply chain and escalating demand, Maruti Suzuki has substantially reduced waiting periods for its SUV models. The Grand Vitara, for instance, now has a waiting period of 2.5 months, down from 5 months earlier. The Brezza’s waiting period has reduced to one month from 4.5 months, while the Fronx, earlier at 3.5 months, now faces a shorter waiting period.

Challenges on the Horizon: Despite achieving the coveted title of the number one SUV maker, Maruti Suzuki’s larger ambition of attaining a 50 percent overall market share remains unfulfilled. Currently holding a 43.2 percent market share, the carmaker cites challenges in the shrinking hatchback segment, primarily attributed to regulatory stringency, increased material costs, and rising consumer expectations for more features in basic cars.

Road Ahead for Maruti Suzuki: Srivastava elucidated, “There are four big reasons for the price increase. One is the regulatory stringency which has affected the small car the most. Second, is the trend towards more features to be given with customers wanting more features even in basic cars. Third, material costs have gone up drastically in the last three years. 75-77 percent of the OEMs’ cost is the material cost. Road tax and insurance rates have also gone up.”

Segment Dominance: Beyond SUVs, Maruti Suzuki asserts its dominance across various segments, holding 70 percent share in hatchbacks, 55 percent in sedans, 50 percent in MPVs, and close to 94 percent share in vans.


Source link