In recent times, Maruti Suzuki has lost a significant market share to its arch-rivals like Hyundai and Tata and even a new entrant like Kia. The largest carmaker in India is leaving no stone unturned to claim the lost ground, and with the appointment of the new chief executive for the Indian market, it is all set to bounce back with new strategies.
In his first interview with ETAuto in India, the new CEO of Maruti Suzuki India Limited, Hisashi Takeuchi, accepted that the rising competition from the rival carmakers, especially in the SUV segments, is only getting more serious, thanks to the huge potential in the Indian car market. He confirmed that the company is eyeing the SUV segments to gain back the market share lost to these rival carmakers in the last year.
To ensure that the lost ground is claimed back, Takeuchi said that the company will be focusing on bringing newer products at more affordable prices, and for that, the SUVs will be playing a crucial role. He accepted that newer SUVs are one of the most instrumental ways to gain a market share of over 50 per cent in the passenger car market.
Maruti Suzuki YFG
The first step of this new strategy is the development of an all-new midsize SUV in a segment where Maruti Suzuki currently does not enjoy a presence. Dominated by the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, the segment has witnessed the arrival of newer offerings like Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, MG Astor and Nissan Kicks in the recent times. Maruti Suzuki aims at leading this space with its new offering, which is set to go on sale in the second half of 2022.
Apart from focusing more on SUVs, Maruti Suzuki is also not shying away from the booming popularity of SUVs. For this, the company intends to develop a mass-market product, which can be projected for exports as well. Takeuchi accepts that an affordable EV is something which can further affirm its leadership in the small car market shortly.
Upcoming Maruti Suzuki EVs
Maruti Suzuki is planning for such a compact EV, which will be exported to other countries, and for that, the company is considering its manufacturing facility in Gujarat for mass production, due to its proximity to ports. After analyzing the popularity of this electric vehicle, its production might ramp up at other manufacturing facilities of Maruti Suzuki in Gurgaon.
In his interview, Takeuchi also accepted that the massive shortage of semiconductor chips has been a hurdle in its sales for the domestic car market and a loss in the market share. However, at the same time, the company has doubled its exports, because of which it has been able to gain profits despite a decline in the local market share.