The Baleno was launched in late October, as Maruti Suzuki’s costliest hatchback on sale in India. Right from the outset, the Baleno has proven to be a superhit. The car has outsold both the Hyundai i20 Elite and the Honda Jazz in December 2015, selling 10,572 units to the i20 Elite + Active’s 10,379 units and the Jazz’s 2,602 units. While Chennai floods may have hit i20 dispatches, the car’s been losing market share ever since the Baleno’s launch, if that’s any indication of the way the momentum’s swinging. But why and how is the Baleno outselling the i20 and Jazz. We explain.
Maruti has been operating in India for over 3 decades and the automaker knows how crucial the initial pricing is. The Baleno came into the market at a cracker of a price tag, undercutting both the i20 Elite and the Jazz. What’s more, the Baleno offered better equipment and features than its competition, at a lower price. This value-for-money proposition hasn’t been lost on the premium buyer, who’s been quick to embrace Maruti’s latest.
Don’t be fooled by the NEXA
Maruti only has 100 NEXA dealerships across India, yet the Baleno sells over 10,000 units each month. What gives? Don’t be fooled by the low number of NEXA dealerships. Maruti used NEXA to display, offer test drives and deliver the Baleno.
Bookings can be made at all Maruti dealerships across the country. This has meant that Maruti’s tradition strength of having the highest number of dealerships in India has worked in the favour of the Baleno as well. And the 100 extra NEXA dealerships only added to this strength.
Safety is standard
The Baleno is the first affordable hatchback in India to come with safety as standard. Both ABS and twin airbags are offered across the car’s variants, and this is something neither the i20 Elite nor the Jazz have managed. Naturally, the customer gets more bang for his buck. Also, buyers of premium hatchbacks are now understanding the importance of safety features, and this is one more thing that’s worked in favour of the Baleno.
The Baleno is the lightest car in its class, and this means that the performance of both the petrol and diesel versions is quite peppy. Another big advantage of the super light weight (yes, it’s 50 kilos lighter than the Swift) is good fuel efficiency.
India is still a very fuel conscious nation, and more so Maruti Suzuki buyers. With the Baleno beating both the i20 Elite and the Jazz hands down when it comes to fuel efficiency, the car’s simply a more compelling option for buyers.
Best overall car
The Indian car buyer has always sought big value, and a rounded car. This is the reason why all-rounder cars typically do quite well rather than flashy looking or high performance ones. The Baleno is an out-and-out all-rounder. The car’s peppy, fuel efficient, spacious and feature filled. To opt it off, it’s priced lesser than its rivals. All these factors come together to make the Maruti hatchback a better buy than its rivals, which is exactly what seems to be happening.