Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car maker, said its premium hatchback, Baleno, averaged sales of 13,158 units since launch, crossing the 5 lakh mark this month.
Moreover, sales in the first seven months of this financial year have been 20% higher than that in 2017.
The numbers are surprisingly strong for a ‘premium’ car.
Part of the reason may be the affordable price, despite Maruti positioning it as a premium vehicle and selling it only through its NEXA brand of higher-end showrooms.
The average ex-showroom price for Baleno is only around 5.5 lakh for the starter configuration, which is less than 5.6 lakhs for Dzire, which is sold through regular channels and not NEXA.
Moreover, Baleno was launched 38 months ago in October 2015, at a time when the Rs 5-lakh price point — the ‘sweet spot’ for cars in India — didn’t have much of a competition.
For example, both Swift and Dzire, the strongest contenders in the market, were already dated.
However, things changed over the last 12 months with the launch of the updated Dzire and Swift.
Today, Dzire is perhaps India’s fastest selling car outside of entry-level offerings, and is estimated to be hitting the roads at the rate of close to 20,000 per month.
In fact, Maruti has had relatively good success with its updated line-up of cars launched in the last two years, except for Ciaz and to some extent, Ignis.
Vitara Brezza, priced around Rs 7.75 lakhs ex-showroom, is selling at more than 13,500 units per month, the auto maker said in a recent update.
The new models have helped the auto maker consolidate its position as India’s largest car maker, beating back competition from Hyundai Motors and Honda.
As for Baleno, the car is manufactured exclusively in India and is the first model to
be exported from India to Suzuki’s home market Japan.
It is also selling in countries such as Australia, Europe, Latin America and East Asia.