Maruti Suzuki India has quietly discontinued sales of lower variants of its premier crossover S-Cross featuring 1.6 litre diesel engine, due to low demand.
The company is now selling only the top-end Alpha variant of the vehicle featuring 1.6 litre diesel engine, priced at Rs 12.03 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), from its premium retail channel Nexa.
MSI, however, continues to sell all the three variants of the crossover powered by a smaller 1.3 litre diesel engine. These are priced between Rs 8.78 lakh and Rs 10.63 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
When contacted a MSI spokesperson told PTI: "In this segment (1.6 litre engine), customers go for highest trim that has all the features. Therefore, it is business prudence to keep the number of variants at an optimum level in line with customers requirements."
The model's performance is in line with the company's expectation, the spokesperson added.
"We started a new segment called premium crossover with S Cross. Volume-wise, S-Cross continues to do an average of 2,000-2,100 units monthly," the spokesperson said.
S-Cross, the first model from the stable of MSI to be sold through its premium retail chain NEXA, has had a chequered history.
MSI had introduced the S-Cross in two options of 1.6 litre and 1.3 litre engines in 2015 coinciding with the launch of its premium retail outlet chain Nexa. However, pricing issues hindered sales of the vehicle forcing the company to go for price correction.
Last year, the company had cut price of the vehicle by over Rs 2 lakh. The reduction in the price of 1.6 litre variant was Rs 2,05,000 for all the three trims, while that of 1.3 litre variant ranged from Rs 40,000 to Rs 66,000.
S-Cross along with Vitara Brezza have helped the company enhance its market share in the utility vehicle (UV) segment.
While Vitara Brezza has been a runaway hit, S-Cross has been a slow starter for the company.
Acknowledging the fact, the spokesperson said: "Every brand has a specific role in the overall portfolio. While some are mass models that sell in big numbers, others may not sell as much as a mass model but contribute to the overall brand objectives of the company for the medium and long term".
S-Cross helps Maruti Suzuki in expanding its range and presence with an eye on the future, the spokesperson added.
Growth in the UV segment for MSI is over 120 per cent for the April-December period this fiscal. Volume wise the company has sold 1,43,254 units during the April-December period as compared to 63,924 units in the previous fiscal.
The company now commands over 65 per cent market share in the total UV segment.