Maruti Suzuki to serve up a new S-Presso for the first time car buyer this festive season
The S-Presso is the first all new small car aimed at the mass market by Maruti in the last seven years.
With an expectation of populist budget, a new small car aimed at sub Rs-5 lakh will not only prove critical for Maruti Suzuki but the overall market, which has been finding new lows.
Based on the Future S concept showcased by the company at the Auto Expo of 2018, the S-Presso is first small car led by the Indian R&D unit, with design and engineering based out of Rohtak, Haryana with support from Suzuki Motor, Japan. This is second major product led out of India post Vitara Brezza, which will help the Indian operation save on the royalty payment.
To be sold through Arena outlets, the S-Presso is the first all new small car aimed at the mass market by Maruti Suzuki in the last seven years. The S-Presso comes with a bold cross-over SUV design with high ground clearance for the entry-level segment and it will challenge the Renault Kwid with its cross over small car avatar.
For the record, Maruti Suzuki paid 5.3% of its net sales as royalty to its parent Suzuki Motor in FY-19 with plans of developing one new model every year locally, Maruti Suzuki sees its royalty payment reducing over a period of time. For the S-Presso, Maruti Suzuki is likely to pay a royalty of less than 4% as against an average of over 5%.
According to people in the know, the S-Presso, codenamed Y1K is powered by a 1 litre petrol engine will come with an automated manual transmission with ABS and dual airbags as standard. The vehicle will also come with a segment leading touch screen with rear parking sensors/camera. The dual colour option will also be offered on the product to appeal to the young buyers.
R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki declined to comment on new product plans but told ET, the entry car segment will never go away and will continue to play and important role in the future.
“With the millions of two wheelers sold in a year, what would those buyers upgrade to with their rising incomes? The need for motorisation is huge in the country and there will be a sizeable number of buyers at the entry level,” explained Bhargava.
The entry of S-Presso will also offer some support to the weakening entry car segment, whose share has dropped to 12% or 3,94,000 units by the end of 2018 from as high as 30% at the end of 2010.
With rising aspiration levels and incomes, a lot of first time car buyers are skipping the entry car segment and moving to the next level. Experts blame it on the lack of new exciting new models and fast evolving used car segment which his getting organised.
To be sure, even as the attraction towards Nano, Alto and Eon was waning, the launch of Renault Kwid had re-ignited the interest in the entry car space, one may see a similar kind of spike with the S-Presso hitting the roads this festive season.
Experts caution that while the new launches will bring in the first time car buyers, the share of the entry segment will not increase dramatically, however it will continue to have a significant share of the market. With the strong finance availability, a lot of first time car buyers are willing to skip the entry car and move to the higher price segment.
With stringent new norms on safety and emission the entry price point is also getting redefined on the higher side.
To meet these regulations, the car portfolio of all the vehicle makers is up for a re-haul and Maruti Suzuki too is in the midst of its own portfolio revamp.
Along with the S-Presso or Y1K lined up this festive season, the company will be coming out with the all new Celerio codenamed YNC as well in the next 12-18 months to offer more alternative to the first time car buyers.