Auto players battle for glory in the compact SUV segment with new launches

S Ronendra Singh | Updated on: Jun 27, 2022
Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) is going to launch the Vitara Brezza on June 30 as a full model change with a slew of new features (Bloomberg/File photo)

Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) is going to launch the Vitara Brezza on June 30 as a full model change with a slew of new features (Bloomberg/File photo)

Top firms such as Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, others bring out new models; segment to grow faster, say industry experts

The compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) is going to be a very competitive segment in the automobile industry in the coming months as there are around 10 models competing with each other in the market right now, with companies launching new as well as full model changes to the existing ones. 

For instance, Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) has recently launched the all-new Venue and Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) is going to launch the Vitara Brezza on June 30 as a full model change with a slew of new features. 

According to HMIL, the company has received bookings for more than 8,000 units, while MSIL which had also started bookings of the new Brezza last week, has received bookings of around 10,000 units so far. And, both the companies had an order book of more than 20,000 units of the previous/existing models of the vehicles. 

Rise in market share

“The size of the entry SUV segment was five per cent in 2016 when we launched Brezza (the only competitor was Ford EcoSport at that time). It has grown up to 22 per cent till 2021. It is the largest segment in the industry, overtaking the premium hatchback segment at 21 per cent last year, which used to be 23 per cent of the overall market for the last five years,” Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), MSIL, told  BusinessLine

The upcoming Brezza will have more than 30 new features in terms of safety, technology and comfort. Some of its features include a sunroof, which is the first in the history of MSIL, a 360 view camera and a heads-up display (HUD) as first in the segment.

The compact or sub-four metre SUV market grew very fast in the last five years from five per cent to 15 per cent to 18 per cent to 22 per cent, Srivastava said. 

Other cars in the market

So, from just Brezza and Ecosport (which is no more in the market) in 2016, there are Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon and Punch, Mahindra XUV300, Renault Kiger, Nissan Magnite and Toyota Urban Cruiser in the market, competing with each other. 

MSIL has the largest market share of 20 per cent in the segment, and the company has sold around 7.50 lakh units of the Brezza till now, Srivastava added. 

Driving force for sale

According to Tarun Garg, Director-Sales, Marketing & Service at HMIL, the company has also sold around 3.25 lakh units of the Venue in the domestic market since its launch in 2019. He said the driving force for the compact SUV is the convenience factor — whether it is in driving, higher stance, seating space, functionality — and apart from design and looks. 

“We have given a lot of importance to design aspect also… today’s SUVs are looking as good as they are functional. And, small things like sunroof because today one in three cars sold is with a sunroof as far as Hyundai is concerned. In India, where probably you can open a sunroof for a few days in a year, but that is what aspiration is doing… people want a car with a sunroof,” Garg said. 

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), in April-May 2022-23, the compact SUV segment grew by 26 per cent year-on-year to 1,04,553 units as compared with 83,099 units in April-May 2021-22. And, it will only grow in the coming years, said the industry veterans. 

Published on June 27, 2022
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