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Vitara Brezza on the fast lane

Maruti Suzuki's first compact SUV Vitara Brezza has increased its lead over prime rival Ford EcoSport in April in terms of sales. India's largest car maker sold 7,832 units of the Vitara Brezza in April, while Ford India managed to sell 3,789 units of EcoSport in the same month.

In the sub four metre compact SUV segment, Mahindra TUV300 is far behind with just 1,928 unit sales in April. With a lead of 4,043 units it is clear that rivals will have to work harder to keep pace with the Vitara Brezza.

Launched on March 8, Vitara Brezza outsold Ford EcoSport in the same month. Despite commencing deliveries on March 23, the new compact SUV sold 5,563 units while Ford India sold 4,456 units of EcoSport. It may also be mentioned that currently Maruti Suzuki sells Vitara Brezza in diesel engine only. On the other hand, the EcoSport is available in one diesel and two petrol engine options.

Anticipating the threat from Vitara Brezza, Ford had slashed prices of EcoSport by up to Rs. 1.12 lakh on March 11. This helped the company to improve sales of EcoSport in the same month. Ford India sold 4,456 units of EcoSport in March registering highest monthly sales in the past 16 months.

However, Vitara Brezza's popularity seems to have made a dent in the EcoSport's sale in April. Industry sources state that the country’s largest car maker had originally planned to produce 80,000 units of the Vitara Brezza in the first year, which was later revised to 100,000 units owing to strong initial demand (the Vitara Brezza received over 40,000 bookings within the initial weeks).

Now, Maruti plans on producing 120,000 units of the Vitara Brezza, which would help in lowering waiting periods which stand at 4-5 months at the moment.

The increase in production will also help Maruti serve nearby export markets. By the end of this month, the Vitara Brezza will go on sale in Nepal, and by end of this year, the compact SUV is expected in the Indonesian market as well.

With increased sales of Vitara Brezza, Maruti Suzuki sold 16,044 units of utility vehicles in April registering a 260.4 percent growth in sales in comparison to 4,452 units in April 2015. Priced at Rs. 6.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), Vitara Brezza is powered by 200 DDis 1248cc diesel engine that develops 88.5bhp at 4,000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1,750rpm mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.