The entry-level hatchback segment has been quite severely affected of late and so has been the Alto. The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso could just out do the Alto in such a scenario.
Maruti Suzuki will be launching the S-Presso on September 30 in India. What is it essentially? Another jacked up hatchback or a micro-SUV as the company likes to call it? Well, recent trends in cars have got us confused as to how to categorize them. Look at the Renault Triber or even the Maruti Suzuki XL6. Jacking up the height and then some body cladding seems to work really well with cars these days.
Well, the S-Presso is essentially an entry-level hatchback that again comes with elements of SUV styling. A increase in ground clearance, an upright stance, some body cladding and squared wheel arches, and there you have it – a micro-SUV. In terms of dimensions, the S-Presso is larger than the Alto K10 but a tad bit smaller than the Kwid. And it directly rivals the Renault Kwid as well.
This entry-level hatchback segment hasn’t been doing particularly well of late. The entire automobile industry is going through a slowdown but the entry-level hatchback segment has been more severely affected than other. That’s because the audience in this segment is very budget centric with a narrow range of adaptability. Recent safety norms and the upcoming BS-VI emission norms and several other costs related to buying a car have gone up several notches in the past few months.
This has affected the entry-level hatchback segment quite a bit. The Alto has been Maruti’s best selling car for a long time but in the past few months, its position has gone down several notches. Instead more premium cars like the Baleno and Dzire have come up quite significantly as this segment is a little less sensitive to increments in price. So will the S-Presso be the right car for Maruti Suzuki to bring back the numbers in the entry-level segment?
For starters, the S-Presso has quite a few things going right itself. A fairly stylish design with an SUV form and better equipped interiors than the Alto. The price you pay is not that much higher than the Alto either. Also, this car has been targeted towards a fairly younger audience. While we are unsure if the S-Presso will out do the Alto, we are certain it will out do its rival which is the Renault Kwid. It will also help Maruti Suzuki revive its name in the entry-level hatchback segment.
There’s a catch however. By paying a little more money, one can buy the WagonR that comes with much more practicality and an all rounded appeal. You see, Maruti has now left very little spaces between the Alto, the S-Presso and the WagonR and these cars have almost started competing against each other. Most manufacturers have adopted a product offensive strategy in this phase of slowdown and it has borne good results for them. And the S-Presso being a new car will certainly do good numbers initially but it remains to be seen how the market reacts to the S-Presso in the longer run.