Top carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) has received close to one lakh bookings for two of its recently launched SUVs — a big boost to the company’s plan to increase its presence and market share in the fast-growing SUV market.

“The response to the all-new Brezza has been overwhelming and it has secured about 70,000 bookings in a short span of time,” Ajay Seth, Chief Financial Officer, MSIL, told the Q1 FY23 conference call. More than 50 per cent of the bookings for Brezza are for the top two premium variants, indicating buyers’ interest in a host of advanced tech features such as an electric sunroof, telematics and 360-degree camera, among others, introduced in the model.

Fuel efficiency

Its new mid-segment SUV, Grand Vitara, which was conceptualised, designed and developed by Suzuki and will be produced by the Toyota factory in Bengaluru, comes with multiple variants with different powertrain options, including a hybrid powertrain. This has garnered more than 20,000 bookings and close to half of the bookings are for the 1.5L intelligent electric hybrid variant (on-road price yet to be known), which comes with a dual power system — electric motor and internal combustion engine — and promises a mileage of about 28 km.

The company bets on this hybrid model as it will be the most fuel-efficient SUV in the market. The hybrid variant will run on a battery for most of the time, and can switch to gasoline for the remaining time during which the battery will get charged, thereby avoiding the need to look for a charging station. Grand Vitara will also be exported to many overseas markets.

“Going forward, the company will strive to strengthen its SUV portfolio to dominate the segment just like all other segments,” said Seth. The company’s total order book stood at about 3.5 lakh units as of June 2022, up from 2.28 lakh units as of March 2022.

Production volumes

The shortage of electronic parts has limited the company’s production volumes and as a result, it lost production of about 51,000 units during the first quarter of this fiscal. The teams are working to maximise the production with available semiconductors as the supply situation continues to be unpredictable.

The company has also finalised the 800-acre manufacturing site in Haryana. The first factory with a capacity of 2.5 lakh units is expected to be ready by 2025. The investment will be more than ₹11,000 crore in the first phase. The June 2022 quarter also saw the company’s highest-ever quarterly exports with shipments of 69,437 vehicles, helped by its parent Suzuki’s global network.