Rumour: Maruti Suzuki to build Innova challenger in 2017

The Toyota Innova is a best seller, and consequently a cash cow for the Japanese automaker in the Indian car market. No other car maker in India has managed to topple the Innova from its leadership perch. While Maruti Suzuki does have the Ertiga catering to MPV buyers in India, the Ertiga remains a much smaller car than the Innova, both in terms of dimensions as well as capacity. Therefore, the Innova continues to motor on, as a dominant sales spinner in its segment. All that could change in 2017, if a report on LiveMint is to be believed.

Maruti Ertiga MPV
Maruti Ertiga MPV used as an illustration

Maruti Suzuki is said to be readying up a challenger to the Innova. Codenamed the RX, the MPV from Maruti Suzuki could be an 8 seater. Pricing and positioning of the new Maruti Suzuki MPV will be higher than that of the Ertiga. The other detail emerging is that the new Maruti MPV will feature a turbo diesel engine. Given the fact that engineers at Suzuki Japan are working on four new turbo diesel engines with capacities ranging between 0.8 liters and 1.6 liters, the Maruti Suzuki MPV is likely to feature the newly developed 1.6 liter turbo diesel motor.

The MPV market is growing at a healthy pace in India, a country where people tend to travel together, with families and friends in tow. While the lower end of the segment will see a gamut of new MPVs being launched in the next few years, the premium end of the market serviced by the likes of the Innova and the Xylo is also likely to see a slew of new launches/upgrades considering rising income levels of Indian car buyers. As a car maker, Maruti Suzuki is also also attempting to foray into the premium segments of the market, ones that it hasn’t tasted much success in.

While 2017 is a good four years away from now, Maruti Suzuki’s future launches spread across the next couple of years will see the brand establishing a strong presence in the 10 lakh rupee+ segments. The 2013 SX4 crossover, due for a launch late next year, is one such product. If Maruti Suzuki does succeed in the 10 lakh rupee+ segments, the car maker would have finally made the jump from being a small car maker to one that can successfully mount competition to the Skodas, Volkswagens and Toyotas of this world.