Faced with declining market share, the country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India on Thursday announced its foray into the multi-purpose vehicle segment with the launch of Ertiga at an introductory price of up to Rs 8.45 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The company, which has seen its share in the Indian market decline below 40 per cent in the fiscal 2011-12 for the first time in its history, said the new vehicle will be key to its future growth as well as parent Suzuki Motor Corp.
"Utility vehicles are a promising segment, and we have been largely absent from here so far. The segment has demonstrated a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent over the past three years. We strongly believe that this trend will continue in future...," Maruti Suzuki India Managing Director and CEO S Nakanishi told reporters in New Delhi.
The company has aggressively priced the Ertiga which will be available in both petrol and diesel variants. The petrol variant is priced between Rs 5.89 lakh and Rs 7.30 lakh, while the diesel option will cost between Rs 7.30 lakh and Rs 8.45 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
"Ertiga holds big significance for Maruti Suzuki in India and for Suzuki Motor Corporation for the global markets," Nakanishi had said at the Auto Expo in January.
The launch of the new model comes at a time when MSI's market share has gone down to 38.44 per cent in the Indian passenger vehicles segment which stood at 26.18 lakh units. MSI passenger vehicle sales in the last fiscal stood at 10.06 lakh units.
During 2010-11, MSI had a share of 45.28 per cent in the passenger vehicle market that stood at 25.02 lakh units.
"Three years back we had changed the way we calculate our market share to include all the passenger vehicles. Since then we have been maintaining a market share of around 44-45 per cent. Last fiscal, our share had come down to 38 per cent," MSI Managing Executive Officer Mayank Pareek said.
This was mainly due to the strike at the Manesar plant last year as well as market demand being skewed towards diesel cars, he added.