With India-oriented approach, Maruti and Mahindra lead the UV segment
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Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki are two Indian auto makers that are currently reaping the benefits of an India-centric approach towards product development. The former has XUV500 in its portfolio and the latter has the recently-launched Ertiga. Both vehicles are extremely popular amongst the buyers, with thousands of bookings in a span of just a few days. With these two vehicles, the companies have largely changed the car choices of the urban Indian consumers.
With the XUV500, Mahindra has taken up the market of mid-sized sedans to an extent as it offers a host of world class features in its new flagship. The company followed the made in India approach as it understood that disposable income among buyers has increased in India, lifestyles have changed and people aspire for more. As most buyers are enchanted by rugged cars like Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and like to be associated with them only. Capitalising upon this, the car maker made a capable SUV that could do extremely well on adverse conditions and can be a suitable city vehicle as well.
VG Ramakrishnan, Senior Director, Automotive Practice, Frost and Sullivan, stated, "The XUV 500's design is good and pricing a killer... It's the only SUV at that price point. With that pricing you bought in a new set of customers who wanted to buy into a new segment." The enthusiasm of buyers towards a feature-rich rugged vehicle shows in the demand, as 7200 orders for the model were placed in just 3 days in the third phase of booking. The demand for the model has been high since it was launched in September 2011, as the largest SUV manufacturer of the country was forced to halt booking in the previous two booking rounds.
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga was developed by the company in Japan with the aim of harnessing the growing Utility Vehicle (UV) space. At an introductory price of Rs. 5.89 lacs for the base petrol variant, the car is heavily demanded by large families in urban areas. The company secured over 40,000 orders for the model since it was launched in April 2012.
Speaking about the car and the market it targets, Mayank Pareek, Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales), Maruti Suzuki, commented, "Today, most cars sold are in the A2 segment. We designed the Ertiga at an affordable price point with the convenience of a UV and the mobility of a city vehicle... big on the inside and small outside." Though Ertiga is the company's only UV in India, Maruti is already the third largest UV maker of India, thus showing the demand for the car.
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