The country’s largest car maker and second-largest exporter of passenger vehicles Maruti Suzuki is looking at export opportunities for S-Cross. The company has shipped a small number of its first crossover vehicle to neighbouring markets like Nepal and Bhutan.
A company’s spokesperson said that about 25-30 units have been shipped so far. “Based on the feedback, we will decide the future course”, the spokesperson said. Maruti Suzuki has exported a total of 113,447 vehicles in the eleven months ending February, marginally down from same period last year.
S-Cross was launched in August last year at a price beginning Rs 8.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Built from a completely new platform, the S-Cross was an attempt by the market leader to expand presence in the premium segment and move towards its goal of selling two million units annually by 2020. The company and its suppliers have invested over Rs 600 crore towards developing this model.
The company had introduced the S-Cross in two diesel options of 1.6 litre and 1.3 litre engines last year to be retailed exclusively through its premium retail outlet chain Nexa.
However, sales of the 1.6 litre vehicle were hindered by pricing issues. The company had to cut price by Rs 200,000 for the 1.6 litre variant where customers did not see much value at the launch price.
When the S-Cross was launched, the 1.6 litre option was priced at Rs 11.99 lakh, Rs 12.99 lakh and Rs 13.74 lakh for the base, mid and top-end trims. It is now available at Rs 9.94 lakh, Rs 10.94 lakh and Rs 11.69 lakh respectively.
In spite of the pricing issues, the company has managed to sell about 21,000 units of the S Cross in domestic market in seven months of the launch. With S Cross we are starting a new segment in India, Premium Crossover. It would take time for the product to establish itself. We have corrected the prices to align them with the customers’ view, added the spokesperson.
The company has recently started exports of its new hatchback, Baleno to markets in Europe. Baleno is being produced only in India and is also the first Maruti product to be shipped from India to parent Suzuki’s home market Japan.