India's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki has registered a decline in its market share over the past few months. Increase in the launch of new cars by rivals, could be one of the reason why Maruti has been losing market share. The PV leader has not launched a new car since the S-Presso, which arrived back in Sep 2019. That could also be another reason behind Maruti losing market share.
Though the car maker has plans to launch new cars, and enter newer segments, but that will take a few years. In the meantime, as per a new report, the manufacturer is planning to retail its premium hatchback Baleno through the Arena chain of dealerships as well.
Currently, Maruti retails its cars through Arena and Nexa network of showrooms. The latter caters to the brand's premium models including Baleno, Ignis, Ciaz, S-Cross and XL6. Launching Baleno via Arena is likely being done in order to increase sales and profitability of Arena dealers who do not have Nexa outlets.
The report further reveals that MASS (Maruti Authorized Service Stations) which were not authorised to service Nexa cars until now, may get the permission soon. It is evident that Maruti has more Arena showrooms across the country which have better access to consumers, hence, a better chance of driving up sales figures. Maruti might soon add more models to its Arena lineup borrowed from the Nexa range.
The Indo-Japanese carmaker is currently developing an updated iteration of the premium hatch which has been spotted testing on Indian roads recently. Despite its limitations, the current model of Baleno continues to bring massive sales volume for the company.
Previous spy images have revealed the premium hatchback in a fully camouflaged guise which indicates multiple cosmetic updates. Changes are expected to be made inside the cabin as well with a new dashboard layout and seat upholstery.
The cabin might also be spruced up by the addition of some new features. This could include a new fully digital instrument cluster, an updated infotainment system, etc. Safety kit on offer might also be upgraded.
Engine, Transmission Options
Baleno is powered by a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated K12 VVT petrol engine which churns out 82 bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque. A stronger 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine with a mild hybrid tech is also available as an option which pumps out 89 horses and 113 Nm of peak torque. A 5-speed manual gearbox is offered as a standard with the option of a CVT automatic gearbox available with the VVT unit.
The hatchback is offered in four trims namely Sigma, Delta, Zeta, and Alpha at prices ranging from Rs 5.98 lakh to Rs 9.30 lakh (ex-showroom). It rivals other premium hatchbacks such as Tata Altroz, Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz.