Diesel variant boosts up the sliding sales of Maruti’s SX4

March 18, 2011 at 6:45 am Leave a comment

The recently launched diesel version of SX4 is proving to be the magic charm for Maruti Suzuki’s passenger car brand whose sales failed to meet the expectations of India’s biggest carmaker.

While sales of SX4’s petrol variant were floundering, its diesel variant has received more than 5,000 bookings since its launch on February 22. “The bookings for SX4 diesel have crossed the 5,000-mark since its launch. We had planned to manufacture 2,000 diesel variants of SX4 per month. But with this kind of demand, we will ramp up production of the SX4 diesel,” said Shashank Srivastava, chief general manager-marketing, Maruti Suzuki India.

Srivastava added, “We were selling 1,800 SX4 units per month last year. But, since the launch of SX4 diesel, we sold over 3,534 units of the petrol and diesel variants last month.”

SX4 competes with Honda’s City, Hyundai’s Verna and Ford’s Fiesta among others. Its petrol version has undergone several changes since its launch in 2007 to increase customer acceptance. However, its sales remained constant at 1,800 units per month.

According to an estimate of SIAM (Society of Automobile Manufacturers), 70 per cent of sales in the A3 segment comes from diesel-powered cars. Sales of A3 segment cars have risen 33 per cent to around 3.3 lakh during the April 2010-February 2011 period, compared with the year-ago period.

Maruti Suzuki expects to double SX4 sales numbers on the back of the diesel model. It sources the super-turbo direct diesel injection engine from Fiat, according to Srivastava.

Meanwhile, the company is anticipating problems in the sales and delivery of its premium sedan Kizashi following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as it is imported as a completely built-up unit.

“Kizashi stock will be affected since the ports are closed owing to the tsunami. But we will nevertheless start delivery of the premium sedan in a few days,” he said.

Maruti Suzuki has received 500 bookings for Kizashi. It has already imported around 250 units in January and February this year. The Rs 17.12 lakh Kizashi was launched on February 3 and deliveries were to start this month.

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Entry filed under: maruti sx4. Tags: , , , , .

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