Maruti Baleno prices could go up post the festive season

Maruti Baleno prices could go up post the festive season

The festive season in India usually sees car buyers flocking to make purchases and the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki seems amply prepared to take advantage of the same. Maruti has launched its Baleno premium hatchback at an aggressive price of Rs 4.99 lakh for the base petrol Sigma variant (ex-showroom, Delhi), going right up to Rs 8.11 lakh for the top-spec diesel variant.

The base petrol variant is cheaper than the current market leader, the Hyundai i20, and the recently launched Honda Jazz – its key rivals – by a substantial Rs 37,000 and Rs 36,000 respectively. Price of the base diesel variant is lower than the i20 by Rs 32,000 and the Jazz by Rs 38,000. Besides, the price difference between the rivals extends to almost about every variant. However, car buyers might not be able to take advantage of the current prices for too long since prices of the Baleno could go up post the festive season.

“This is an introductory offer. We are going to, very soon, revise the prices. In fact, on a lighter note it is more of a Diwali gift to our Indian customers from Maruti Suzuki,” said Partho Banerjee, Senior Vice President (NEXA Channel), Marketing & Sales, without specifying when exactly prices would go up.

The carmaker has already received 12,500 enquiries for the Baleno hatchback. The vehicle will be manufactured exclusively in India and Maruti plans to export it to over 100 countries, including the home country of its parent company Suzuki Motor Corp in Japan. Maruti will begin exporting the Baleno by end of this calendar year or by the beginning of next year, Banerjee said.

The Baleno is powered by Suzuki’s 1.2-litre K12 engine making 83.1bhp and 11.7kgm of torque, and the Fiat-sourced 1.3 DDiS diesel, which is good for 73.9bhp and 19.3kgm of torque. Both engines come mated to five-speed gearboxes, with a CVT automatic gearbox offered on the petrol variant. Unfortunately, the automatic option is offered on the mid-level Delta variant only. According to Banerjee, the CVT variant is likely to account for nearly 10 percent of the overall sales.

The Baleno, with its fresh styling, ample features, safety equipment and competitive pricing, currently makes for a fantastic value proposition. But it remains to be seen if the hatchback builds a watertight case for itself to topple the hugely popular i20. The selling point for Maruti’s most premium hatch seems to be its price and not its premiumness, and it will be interesting to see how this positioning helps it in the long run.

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