Why Suzuki Jimny could change the SUV game in India

Suzuki Jimny got us all hyped every time there was some news of it being launched or showcased in India. This is because since the legendary Gypsy got discontinued, there hasn’t been a reliable, affordable, capable off-roader on the market. 

Suzuki Jimny 1

Auto Expo 2020

The manufacturer recently showcased the Jimny at the Auto Expo 2020 and after the Futuro-E concept, it was the Jimny that created so much excitement  among the visitors. However, this time it may get launched in India as Maruti will start manufacturing the three-door Jimny at the Hansalpur plant in Gujarat. The entire production will be exported to various international markets. However, the India spec will not be a 3-door as the Indian market prefer practicality over capability. Because of this Maruti will be stretching the wheelbase of the Jimny to convert it to a 5-door which might affect its off-road capability but it could still attract a lot of Indian buyers. 

Off-road capabilities

Internationally, Jimny has been known for its immense off-roading capability due to its light three-door form, low-range gearbox, ladder-frame chassis and four-wheel drive. You would be able to find a lot of videos online where the Jimny holds its own against big full-size SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz G class and Land Rovers that cost 8-10 times more. Because the Jimny does not weigh much and comes with low transfer gearbox, it can tackle very tricky situations. The 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine produces 100bhp which is enough for the SUV.

Global impressions

Suzuki Jimny has also proved itself internationally against the big competitors. The Jimny was positioned as an affordable small SUV which can perform really well on and off-road as well. The manufacturer is selling the Jimny for almost 20 years now and that continuous production shows that it has been doing well in the market. The SUV is easy to drive, easy to maintain, offers good visibility and is reliable which makes it perfect for the people who like to go on occasional offroad tours.

Price

Suzuki Jimny 2

On average, the UK pricing is around 1.58 times more than the Indian cost of the same car. For instance, the Alpha variant of the Baleno costs Rs. 6.8 lakhs and when compared to the UK pricing, a similarly equipped 1.2 SZ3 manual variant costs around £ 13,044 which is around Rs. 12.19 lakhs when converted to INR. Similarly, the Ignis is priced at £ 11,644 when converted to INR is Rs. 10.89 lakhs. Whereas a similar spec of Ignis in India costs Rs. 6.8 lakhs which is again around 1.6 times less than the UK pricing. 

If we consider this calculation the Jimny’s base model should be priced around Rs. 9.15 lakhs and the higher variant should cost around Rs. 10.7 lakhs. As the Jimny will be built and assembled locally in India which means Maruti Suzuki can price it competitively in the market. We are expecting the Jimny to be priced from Rs. 9 lakhs to 13 lakhs.

A game-changer

With the competitive pricing, tried and tested powertrain and the hype that the Jimny has created even without being launched in the country, it should be a good seller. Also, it is priced lower than the competitors where the current Thar starts from Rs. 9.5 lakhs and the Force Gurkha which starts at Rs. 9.75 lakhs. Mahindra Thar will soon be discontinued and replaced with the next generation which means that it will cost a bit more. The sales of Gurkha are already not good which means that Jimny would be the most affordable and desirable SUV in the segment. 

With all the things in favour of Jimny, it would make the segment very competitive and considering the demand for an affordable SUV is increasing, the Jimny should be an easy sell for the Maruti Suzuki. The Jimny is a worthy successor to the legendary Gypsy that has ruled the market in its era.

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