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Maruti to unleash the 'Baleno' - Views on News from Equitymaster
 
 
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  • Oct 22, 1999

    Maruti to unleash the 'Baleno'

    Maruti plans to launch the Baleno (the luxury sedan from the Suzuki stable) in the second week of November. This was reported by a leading financial daily.

    Maruti is the leading car manufacturer in the country with a presence in the mid-sized segment (Esteem, 1000), small car (800, Zen) as well as utility vehicles (Gypsy).

    Although Maruti is yet to announce a price for the Baleno, indications are that it will be priced in the Rs 700,000-Rs 800,000 price range. With the Baleno, Maruti will have two models (Esteem and Baleno) in the mid-car segment. There were many who felt that Maruti was missing out on demand from the premium segment (Rs 700,000-Rs 800,000). Baleno will seek to correct that.

    But Maruti can expect some stiff competition from other manufacturers. Earlier, this week Hyundai launched the Accent at a price tag of Rs 535,000 (basic model, ex-showroom Delhi). Other car majors General Motors (Corsa), Ford (Ikon), Fiat (Siena station wagon) have already lined up a slew of launches. Even Honda and Tata (Midi) have firmed up plans to launch new products. Toyota plans to launch a range of multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) that will be competing in the mid-sized car segment.

    Maruti's strength is its extensive distribution network. But this alone will not help it enhance market share in the mid-car segment from the current level of 35%. In the small car segment, Hyundai (Santro) and Daewoo (Matiz) showed Maruti what relatively new entrants can do to it with smaller distribution networks. Even in the mid-sized segment, Honda and Mitisubishi (in the premium segment) have posted encouraging sales growth, which indicates that there is demand in the Rs 600,000-Rs 700,000 range for the right technology.

     

     

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