New Delhi: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is currently analysing customer feedback to ascertain if the Jimny brand could be introduced in India as part of its overall plan to strengthen the SUV portfolio, as per a senior company official.
The auto major currently manufactures three-door Jimny at its Gurugram plant and exports to Middle East and African markets. The model, though compact in size, is well known for its off-road prowess.
Jimny has been in the global market for over 50 years.
“It is a segment worth looking into, that is the reason why we exhibited it in the Auto Expo 2020. We have collected some very good feedback from the customers. We are studying this feedback and we will definitely see if we can introduce the product here,” MSI Senior Executive Director (Sales and Marketing) Shashank Srivastava told PTI in an interaction.
This lifestyle SUV segment is small but there is a class of customers who really want that kind of a vehicle, he noted.
“The volumes are less but such vehicles lift the image of an OEM. At the same time, it also helps support many customer aspirations,” Srivastva said.
He noted that various aspects, from pricing to component supply etc, need to be evaluated for launching any kind of new product in a market.
“Due to COVID, there has been some delay regarding new product introductions. But now we are all set for new launches. We are looking at all segments where we think there are opportunities while strengthening our existing strong points,” Srivastva stated.
MSI is looking to consolidate its position in the mid-SUV segment where its market share remains low as compared to the rivals, he noted.
“In the SUV segment our market share is around 13-14 per cent. If we go into the details, in the entry SUV segment, Vitara Brezza is the number one selling vehicle despite new launches.
“But, if we look at the mid-SUV segment, which currently accounts for around 18 per cent of the entire PV segment, our market share is very low. We have S-Cross in that space which is not giving enough volume. So clearly we have a low market share in a growing segment,” Srivastva said.
The company is therefore looking at the mid-SUV segment very closely, he added.
“We need to strengthen our product portfolio in this particular segment. We are looking at those places where we have weakness in our product range, bigger SUV space is one of those areas,” Srivastva noted.
As per SIAM data, utility vehicle sales in the April-November period of the current fiscal stood at 8,70,894 units, up 57 per cent from 5,55,746 units in the same period of the previous fiscal.