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Maruti all set to launch new hatchback model around Diwali to regain market share

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) is all set to launch its new hatchback around Diwali in an attempt to regain its market share, which has been falling steadily over the years.

Anuradha Shukla   New Delhi     Last Updated: May 8, 2012  | 18:45 IST

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) is all set to launch its new hatchback around Diwali in an attempt to regain its market share , which has been falling steadily over the years.

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"The work on the car is going on and the company is planning to launch it before Diwali. The car will be priced below Alto and above that of the Maruti 800. This will be a big booster for the company. At present, the company is working on the pricing of the diesel variant," a senior official from MSIL told Mail Today on the condition of anonymity. However, the company refused to comment on the upcoming car officially and said they do not comment on their future models.

The parent Suzuki Motor Company already markets a mini-compact car in Japan with an engine capacity of less than 800 cc. This is the company's attempt to revive their bread-and-butter model, which once drove their volumes. According to sources, the company will launch a new entry-level hatchback before phasing out M800 as competition is mounting from Hyundai's Eon and with a diesel variant of the Nano being also on the anvil.

Maruti Suzuki, which earlier use to account for over 50 per cent sales in the passenger car market, has lost its share to rivals such as Hyundai, which markets the hot-selling i10 and 120 models, and diesel variants of GM's Beat. The market share of Maruti is now down to around 40 per cent as the strike at the Manesar plant has also taken its toll.

The sales of its mini-segment cars, including M800, AStar, Alto and WagonR, fell by 26.4 per cent to 30,720 units in April this year against 41,744 units in April 2011.

Maruti Suzuki India on Tuesday reported a mere 3.6 per cent increase in total vehicle sales in the domestic market to 90,255 units during April 2012. The company's passenger car sales, which exclude vans and utility vehicles, in the domestic market declined by 1.3 per cent to 72,939 units last month from 73,905 units in the same month of 2011, it added.

Sales of the DZiRE model last month rose by 31.5 per cent to 15,510 units, from 11,797 units in April last year. While its compact segment (Estilo, Swift and Ritz) saw a 43 per cent jump in sales to 26,072 units in April. The company is also facing continuous slide in sales of its mid-sized sedan SX4's which by 69.8 per cent to a meager 634 units from 2,102 units sold in April 2011. Luxury sedan Kizashi also witnessed 91.4 per cent fall in sales at 3 units as against 35 units in the same month last year.

Courtesy: Mail Today 

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