With its seven-seater Ertiga, Maruti Suzuki India intends to create an alcove in the multi-purpose vehicle car market of India. This is more like a hatchback upgrade looking forward to attract the big Indian families and divert them towards the MPV from their previous attraction to sedans, if any. Mayank Pareek, Managing Executive Officer, marketing, Maruti Suzuki India is of the opinion that they do not see Ertiga to be chosen by commercial buyers for commercial purpose as such yet. Neither does it come in the same segment of Toyota Innova or Mahindra Bolero, but it would fall in between these two vehicles for the customers to choose the best of both the kinds.
As per the auto critics and experts, since a long time the Indian automobile market has seen the small cars ruling it but for sometime now, the MPV segment is also blossoming in the recent years. Right now, MPVs are looked upon as commercial taxis to carry passengers on hire or lease basis, but with an improved design and feature on better prices may make people think differently and prompt them to try these MPVs for personal family usage. Currently, the number of sales of MPVs like Mahindra Bolero in the rural areas, for family conveniences is 8,000 units every month which costs between Rs 6.19 lakh to Rs 6.69 lakh, whereas Toyota Innova is making a sale of approximately 5,000 units every month with a price tag of Rs 9.14 lakh to Rs. 13.54 lakh. Thus both of these vehicles are acting as the main personal passenger mover where Maruti Suzuki India is very positive that its new Maruti Ertiga will surpass the entire sales figurine as well as the fan followers of Toyota Innova at least. For Maruti Suzuki India is not very sure about beating the likes of Mahindra and Mahindra’s Bolero in the commercial MPV segment.
Mayank Prateek very proudly narrates the story of its successful launch of Maruti Swift hatchback in 2005 which gave the hatchback segment a new definition. The initial sales target was just 2,000 units every month but the indubitable figure were just too high than it could have been expected in the beginning. He also added that with the Maruti Ertiga, the firm wants to crave out an alcove category for such vehicles which can be easily maneuvered inside the city limits and could be parked in the tauten of parking areas. At present the Maruti Swift hatchback is sold in a volume of 20,000 units every month so the firm believes that Maruti Ertiga will be able to fill the shoes of Maruti Swift in both terms, i.e.; sales and waiting time span. Other car manufacturers are also getting into this very methodology to get hold of the MPV segment of the Indian automobile market, among these, Hyundai is getting ready to jump in with its Hexa-Space which was unveiled in January this year in the International Auto Expo 2012 at New Delhi. At the same time Toyota is contemplating to bring an MPV contrived on the platform of Etios. Whereas, General Motors is almost ready to launch it ‘unnamed’ MPV towards the end of this year while Evalia MPV is to be rolled out by Nissan.
It seems with an ongoing war of small cars in the Indian automobile market, the war of MPV will soon commence.