Maruti mulling Jimny roll-out in Indian market?
Maruti Suzuki is currently analyzing customer feedback to see if the Jimny brand can be launched in the country
Known for its off-road excellence, Suzuki Jimny has been in the global market for over 50 years. The SUV was also showcased at the 2020 Delhi Auto Expo in the country before the Coronavirus spread. Maruti Gypsy's entry into the Indian market is being discussed again. Maruti Suzuki is currently scrutinising customer feedback to assess if the Jimny can be launched in India as part of its overall plan to strengthen its SUV portfolio, according to a media report.
Shashank Srivastava, MSI Senior Executive Director - Sales and Marketing, was quoted by the news agency Press Trust of India as saying that the company had been received a very good response from customers, which was being studied to explore whether the product can be introduced here. He further said that although the lifestyle SUV segment in the country is small, there is a segment of consumers who want such a vehicle. Volumes are small, but such vehicles enhance the image of an original equipment manufacturer.
Srivastava also pointed out that before launching any new product in the market, various aspects like pricing towards component distribution need to be evaluated. Despite the delay due to the Coronavirus, Maruti Suzuki India has been trying to consolidate its position in the mid-SUV segment of the country. The company's market share in the segment is lower than its competitors.
In the SUV segment, Maruti Suzuki India has a market share of around 13 to 14 per cent. He explained that the Maruti S-Cross does not provide enough volume in that area and that Maruti has a limited market share in a growing segment and the company's product portfolio needs to be strengthened in this particular segment.
Speaking more about Jimny, the car is the popular global model of Japanese automaker and Maruti partner Suzuki. The Indian automotive world has been eagerly awaiting this compact SUV. Maruti Suzuki unveiled the Jimny, the successor to the Gypsy, at the 2020 Auto Expo in Delhi. The company also exports three-door Jimny made in India. But the Jimny is still inaccessible to Indian streets. Indian auto enthusiasts still have high hopes for Jimny to be out on Indian roads soon.
According to reports, Jimny's body style is the reason behind not launching in the Indian market. Interior space is an important factor in India. So the company was sceptical about whether this body style would succeed. However, it has recently been reported that Maruti Suzuki is currently working on a 5-seater version of the Jimny for India. The 5-seater Jimny is believed to be based on the Jimny Sierra version which was unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo. At the same time, there were indications that the wheelbase would rise to 300 mm. The cabin is expected to be more spacious as the wheelbase rises.
India's relationship with the Suzuki Jimny dates back to the 1980s. The Gypsy was introduced in India in 1985 as a modified version of the second generation Jimny in the Japanese market. Jimny appeared on the Japanese streets in the 1970s as the light jeep model. While the second-generation model arrived in 1981 and the third generation was rolled out in 1998. Jimny has remained in the market without any significant changes since then. But in 2018, the fourth generation was released with drastic changes. The company introduced the fourth generation Gypsy as the Jimny.