Within two months of its launch, Maruti Suzuki’s premium diesel crossover S-Cross is being offered with incentives of up to Rs 1 lakh, indicating a challenge in the vehicle’s acceptability at the launch price of Rs 8.34 lakh to Rs 13.74 lakh. Launched less than a year after the company unveiled its now-successful premium sedan Ciaz, S-Cross is Maruti’s second premium offering.
Exclusively retailed through Maruti’s new sales channel Nexa, S-Cross has seen a 22 per cent drop in dispatches in September compared to August, the first month after launch. It is learnt that the company had dispatched 4,600 units in the first month and the number came down to 3,600 units (approximately) in September.
ALSO READ: Bhupesh Bhandari: Maruti Suzuki's premium push This is unusual for a number of reasons. Firstly, appetite for a new vehicle usually does not wane in the initial months. Secondly, dealers should have been stocking S-Cross for the upcoming festive demand. Thirdly, the number of Nexa outlets is being gradually ramped up and this should have led to more dispatches.
Two Nexa dealers in Delhi confirmed that there is a discount on the S-Cross and added discounts are a standard practice in the sector to boost sales in the festive season. On the 1,600-cc variant, the company is offering a loyalty discount of Rs 30,000 if the buyer or the family already owns a Maruti car. For every buyer purchasing the 1,600-cc variant through finance from certain banks with which Nexa has a tie-up, there is a discount of Rs 70,000 coming from an interest subvention. For the 1,300-cc variant, a loyalty bonus of Rs 20,000 is being offered to customers opting for exchange and for those already owning a Maruti car. The price of 1,600-cc variant is in the range of Rs 11.99 lakh to Rs 13.74 lakh (ex showroom, Delhi) while the 1,300-cc variant is priced between Rs 8.34 lakh and Rs 10.75 lakh.
A Nexa dealer in Delhi said units of 1,600-cc S-Cross are moving out at a slow pace. He also said a few dealers had pointed to Maruti that pricing of S-Cross should have been more ‘competitive’, especially because there was a new rival product in the market in the form of Creta. Creta is priced between Rs 8.6 lakh and Rs 11.2 lakh for the 1,600-cc petrol version and between Rs 9.47 lakh and Rs 11.45 lakh for 1,400-cc diesel variant. The 1,600-cc diesel variant comes in the price range of Rs 11.6 lakh and Rs 13.6 lakh.
The top-end diesel variant comes in both manual and automatic transmissions. S-Cross was launched two weeks after Hyundai, Maruti’s nearest competitor and India’s second largest passenger vehicle player, launched its sports utility vehicle Creta. Hyundai sold 7,400 units of Creta in August and 7,200 in September, double the volume of S-Cross.
Creta, unlike S-Cross, is available in both petrol and diesel variants.
Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president and division head (sales and marketing) at Hyundai, said Creta has many segment-first features that made it the market leader in the Compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment right from the launch with volumes of 7000 units a month.
“It's a disruptive product as it is generating interest across SUV, sedan and premium compact car customers with fuel options of petrol and diesel along with auto and manual transmissions,” he said.
A RIDE NOT SO SMOOTH
S-Cross, which is exclusively retailed through Maruti’s new sales channel Nexa, has seen a 22 per cent drop in dispatches in September
But... Appetite for a new vehicle usually does not wane in the initial months Dealers should have been stocking S-Cross for the upcoming festive demand The number of Nexa outlets is being gradually ramped up and this should have led to more dispatches Less competitive? S-Cross was launched almost two weeks after Hyundai launched its sports utility vehicle Creta Hyundai sold 7,400 units of Creta in August and then about 7,200 in September, double the volume of S-Cross