Maruti Suzuki is not a company usually associated with the utility vehicles. They are known for budget small cars meanwhile India's affordable SUV space is the domain of Mahindra & Mahindra. However, Maruti Suzuki launched Vitara Brezza compact SUV in March 2016 and the equations of the segment turned upside down.
Vitara Brezza is currently one of the best selling SUV in India and it has steered Maruti Suzuki to go on top UV maker table of India beating M&M. In April-July this fiscal, Maruti Suzuki India holds 29.93 percent market share in the UV space, powered primarily by Vitara Brezza while M&M's market share stood at 26.07 percent (down from 29.83 percent during April-July 2016), reports ET Auto.
"We have lost the market share primarily because the universe of UV is expanding very rapidly and also because there are many more competitors than there were 3-4 years ago in the UV segment," M&M Managing Director Pawan Goenka said in a conference call.
The comeback plan
Mahindra is not reluctant to agree on the downfall and the company is planning an aggressive move to reach back on top of UV game. The trump card is an all new multi purpose vehicle (MPV) rivalling Toyota Innova Crysta and Tata Hexa. M&M is planning to launch the vehicle codenamed U321 in the current fiscal year. "This product has been developed entirely at our Detroit technical centre and right now, we are in the phase of manufacturing set up and try outs," Goenka said.
Another ambitious project in the works is the S201 based on SsangYong Tivoli platform. It will be an all new SUV to be positioned as a rival to Hyundai Creta. "That launch (S201) will be in the next fiscal and in between, we have several minor and major refreshes," Goenka said.
The purported model has already been spotted wearing Tivoli's body panels. The production spec will feature a styling in line with Mahindra's DNA both outside and inside. The S201 will draw power from the new generation of powertrains developing in conjunction with its SsangYong subsidiary.
Apart from these two major new launches, Mahindra will also bring periodic refreshments to its existing SUV range and it start off with the KUV100 facelift. Mahindra is still not decided to bring G4 Rexton in India from SsangYong over its economic feasibility. The automaker is going to decide on that in the next two months, Goenka added.
Picture source: Gaadiwaadi