Hyundai Elite i20, Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Hyundai Elite i20, Maruti Suzuki BalenoPR handout

After a promising start that saw Maruti Suzuki's premium hatchback Baleno overtaking sales of its prime rival Hyundai Elite i20 in December 2015, it seems to have struggling. The March sales report of ET Auto shows the Baleno lagging behind the Elite i120 with 6,236 units sold, against the latter's 8,713 units. This is the third consecutive month the Baleno is trailing.

The Baleno was launched in October and edged past the Elite i20's 10,379-unit sales in December 2015 by finding 10,572 takers. However, starting from January 2016, Baleno lagged behind the Elite i20. Maruti Suzuki sold 7,698 units of the Baleno in January where as Hyundai sold 8,250 units of the Elite i20 in the same month. In February, too, the Elite i20 kept its lead over the Baleno.

The only disappointing factor for the Elite i20 is it registered a 16 percent lower growth when compared to the 10,415 units sold in March 2015. The Korean company recently updated the Elite i20 model, giving it projector headlamps with cornering lights and LED daytime running lights.

On the other hand, despite having good domestic bookings, the bottleneck for the Baleno sales is owing to its limited production. In addition, Maruti Suzuki has started export of the Baleno to Japan and European countries. The company is currently working on increasing production of the Baleno.