Maruti Ertiga: Falling in LUV, again

Jun 28 2014, 09:47 IST
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Maruti Ertiga has successfully tackled competition in the form of Chevrolet Enjoy, Nissan Evalia and, of course, the Innova and Xylo. Maruti Ertiga has successfully tackled competition in the form of Chevrolet Enjoy, Nissan Evalia and, of course, the Innova and Xylo.
SummaryAs Honda readies Mobilio for an India launch, does the Maruti Ertiga need to reinvent itself?

Having said that, the Ertiga has given us good volumes, especially considering the spate of competition in the compact MPV segment and sluggish market conditions. The Ertiga, in fact, has helped us strengthen our market share; we closed the year with 42.1% market share in the PV segment.

Overall, while we have sold over 1,50,000 units in the domestic market, the Ertiga is now expanding its presence internationally as well. Customers have appreciated the overall package of compact size, contemporary looks, ergonomic design and the flexibility of 5+2 seating, while offering excellent fuel efficiency, plush upscale interiors and power. We are looking at opportunities in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East with the left-hand drive Ertiga. We are confident the Ertiga will help us build volumes in these markets too.

Of the petrol, diesel and CNG variants, which variant has traditionally seen maximum sales?

Diesel takes the lead with over 70% sales, followed by petrol at 21% and CNG at around 9%. In fact, the CNG variant was introduced only in 2013-14 and is limited by the availability of CNG fuel only in selected cities. The ratio in previous year, 2012-13, was far more skewed towards diesel—over 85% diesel and 15% petrol. This polarisation was primarily due to the big price gap between the two fuels. Also, traditionally, MPVs and SUVs are diesel-driven.

Was the Ertiga also able to attract customers from a segment above; customers whose first choice was a bigger MPV such as the Toyota Innova?

We carefully positioned the Ertiga as a family-oriented, compact MPV with versatility in usage. The Ertiga was a segment creator, it attracted intenders from both sides, above as well as below. Being such a lucrative package with the right mix of space, comfort and power, it draws attention from all segments—sedans as well as MPVs and soft SUVs.

Unlike, say, the Innova or the Xylo, we don’t see many Ertigas plying as taxis on Indian roads. Why?

We positioned the Ertiga as a family-oriented, compact MPV. In fact, it was a path-breaker segment especially created for Indian customers who were unhappy with bulky people-movers. The Ertiga’s compactness, good looks, easy manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency were some high points widely appreciated.

What are your plans as far as exports of Ertiga are concerned?

As I said, we have homologated the Ertiga for markets such as Africa, the Middle-East and Latin America. We are expecting good numbers there. In addition, we have

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