Maruti has been known to capture market segments of different automobiles over the years. Their strategy seems to be to keep moving in the direction of the trend of customer preferences. They are known to be producing the most cost-effective vehicles in the various segments present. Maruti entered the compact SUV market with the Vitara Brezza. However, not soon after the share of compact SUV began getting further distributed amongst new entrants. It started with the Hyundai Venue, thereafter the Kia Sonet and in the recent past with the Nissan Magnite. Renault is also entering the market with its Kiger. Therefore, it was a calculated decision for Maruti also to introduce something other than the Brezza. Hence, they are about to launch a new “Baleno-based” compact SUV.
Livemint has reported that the car is being called “YTB” for internal communications. It will probably be a completely modified version of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The new SUV version of the Baleno is known to be using the Heartect platform and will be powered by the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine.
The engine can churn a maximum of 88 PS and 113 Nm of peak torque. The SUV version will also come with 5-speed manual transmission.
However, Maruti is going all out by even launching a variant with CVT automatic gearbox. The first eye impressions suggest that it looks like a crossover of coupe or mini. Maruti has taken some cost-saving decision by using the same platform, features and engine as the original Baleno. It also makes a lasting impression as Baleno did exceedingly well in the market and became one of the best selling premium hatchbacks.
“Internally, it’s been referred to as the ‘sister car’ of Baleno and companies often take this route to expand their product portfolio quickly. Maruti has already adopted this strategy successfully with XL6 and Ertiga. They definitely need a good number of SUVs in the portfolio to keep increasing their market share in the SUV segment,” said one of the two people who have spotted the new compact SUV based on the Baleno.
Maruti has been successful in implementing newer or a premium segment of cars with an upgraded version of a popular car from their own portfolio. XL6 is a testament to this fact as it was based on the Ertiga. Since the XL6 is sold only under the Nexa dealerships, it has been upgraded to a premium category. Reportedly, the new compact SUV based on the Maruti Suzuki Baleno will be priced below the Vitara Brezza and may start with selling under the Maruti Suzuki Arena dealerships instead of the Nexa dealerships.
Maruti Suzuki Brezza was priced well at Rs. 7.34 lakhs ex-showroom to Rs. 11.40 lakhs ex-showroom. The new competitors of the Brezza, like Nissan Magnite, Hyundai Venue and Tata Nexon are easily able to beat these prices while Maruti is unable to reduce the cost of the Brezza due to internal reasons.
The new SUV will be able to solve this problem and enter into the price segments of the competitors easily. There is a stark difference in the engine as the Vitara Brezza offered a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine as compared to the new compact SUV’s which stands at 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine as a standard offering.
The Brezza can produce 104 Bhp maximum power and 138 Nm of peak torque. It is offered in two variants currently between a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 4-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Maruti Suzuki YTB is expected to launch in 2022 along with the diesel engine variant of Vitara Brezza amongst other cars.