Maruti Suzuki, India’s No.1 car maker, said its SUV-like mini car, S-PRESSO, has crossed the 10,000 unit sales mark within the first month of its launch — an important milestone that puts the model in the top 10 selling cars in the country.
The best-selling cars in the country, such as the Swift, moves around 20,000 units per month.
It should, however, be kept in mind that the S-PRESSO got the lift of the festival season for its first-month sales as October was also the month in which Diwali and Dhanteras fell this year. The company sold 10,634 units of the new car during the month.
It remains to be seen if Maruti Suzuki can maintain S-PRESSO sales at similar levels going forward.
S-PRESSO is Maruti Suzuki’s attempt to ‘jazz up’ its entry-level offerings, which so far had comprised the Alto and the old WagonR models.
About a year ago, the company ‘beefed up’ the WagonR, reclassifying it into a ‘compact car’ instead of a ‘mini car’, and left the Alto alone to compete with the likes of Renaul Kwid and Nissan Go.
Introduced in 2000, the Alto is one of the oldest models of cars in the Indian market, and has changed little from its initial, minimalistic looks.
It also defines the ‘small car’ image in India, and was the highest selling car for many years, before a gradual preference for larger, ‘compact’ cars in the market helped models like Swift and Dzire overtake the Alto.
This was despite the fact that, at around Rs 6 lakhs, the Dzire and Swift cost about 70% more than the Alto (Rs 3.5 lakh).
Meanwhile, French auto maker Renault came up with the ‘best of both worlds’, by launching the Kwid, which costs only around Rs 3 lakhs on road for the basic version, and looked more contemporary, stylish and sporty compared to the Alto.
Starting from 2014, the Alto also faced tough competition from Datsun Go, which too was priced in the Rs 3.3 lakh bracket, but looked wider and slightly bigger than the Suzuki model.
Launched on September 30 this year, the S-PRESSO is supposed to be Maruti Suzuki’s answer to the challenges raised by the Kwid and, to some extent, the Go, and also starts at around Rs 3.7 lakhs, ex-showroom.
“Built on Maruti Suzuki ARENA values, the S-PRESSO was launched to match the need of a dynamic, stylish and youthful mini SUV,” the company said.
The car comes with a 1 liter K10 engine that is BS-VI compliant, and also offers a higher seating position and a taller stance than any of its competitors.