maruti suzuki: Small cars will remain a big part of the Indian market, says Maruti Suzuki

Small cars will continue to make up a large share of sales in the local market despite growing consumer preference for more upscale sports utility vehicles (SUVs), a senior official at the country’s largest automaker said.

With India’s economy on a revival pattern and poised to grow among the fastest in the world, income levels are expected to rise, supporting early mass-market buyers and driving small car sales in the future. , Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) at

said ET on Thursday.

“There is an inherent demand (for small cars) given our demographics. The median age in our country is 25. No less than 65% of car buyers are under the age of 35. Many young people are entering labor market every year and yearn for personal mobility,” he said on the sidelines of the launch of the new Alto K10 priced at Rs 3.99-5.83 lakh (ex-showroom).

First-time buyers represent half of the sales of passenger vehicles on the local market.

Srivastava said entry-level sales have been under pressure lately due to an increase in the cost of vehicles due to increased taxes, commodity prices and tougher regulatory requirements, in addition to consumer preference for additional features.

“The price increase as a percentage of overall vehicle cost in this segment was higher,” he said. “And due to high price sensitivity, growth in this segment has not been significant. But the demand is there. It’s up to the manufacturer to strike the right balance, deliver value and grow Requirement.

No less than 550,000 entry-level sedans were sold in the country last year. Maruti Suzuki dominates this space with an 88% market share. “The absolute volumes of the segment are large even compared to SUVs. The four best-selling models remain hatchbacks,” Srivastava said.

SUVs were the best-selling segment in the Indian auto market last year with sales of 1.23 million units compared to sales of 1.15 million hatchbacks.

Srivastava admitted that Alto – once the best-selling car in the Indian market – has slipped to fourth place in recent years, but said with the re-launch of the Alto K10 it should regain pole position.

Up to 65% of Alto’s sales come from small towns. With the new Alto K10, Maruti Suzuki also aims to increase sales in major cities.

Admittedly, Alto, with 150,000 units sold last year, was ahead of SUVs like Hyundai Creta, Maruti Suzuki Brezza and Tata Nexon in terms of volumes.

“India is a vast country with a diverse demographic,” said Maruti Suzuki Managing Director Hisashi Takeuchi. “Like cuisine and culture, customer requirements and preferences also change from place to place…While SUVs have definitely gained popularity lately, a large portion of customers still prefer SUVs. sedans…As the market leader, we need to keep the sedan segment energized with exciting products,” he added.