New Delhi, Aug. 20: Maruti Suzuki India will introduce the hatchback Stingray tomorrow in what could be the start of its slew of launches this year. The new car is an aggressive version of Maruti’s bestseller WagonR.
The company hopes to gain more market share this festive season with the Stingray, which will be positioned as an entry-level hatchback. At present, the WagonR is among the top three cars sold in India in terms of sales with around 13,000 units sold on a monthly average.
The Stingray will be officially unveiled in the capital by Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki India, on Wednesday.
According to industry experts, Maruti is betting on good monsoons and the coming festive season to break the rut in the auto sector. In the last few months only compact sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and Honda’s entry-level sedan Amaze have seen good volume sales.
The experts said just like the WagonR, the Stingray might be available in petrol, CNG and LPG variants.
Officials at Maruti said the Stingray would have a sportier look, more aggressive exteriors and better interior trims. The car may have electronically adjustable rear view mirrors, projector headlights, anti-lock braking system and airbags in the higher-end variants.
Maruti is looking to drive sales with its upcoming line up, which includes a compact SUV, a higher-end sedan and a number of small cars and hatchbacks. The car maker has suffered several setbacks in the last few months on the back of a slump in the auto sector, rupee depreciation and decreasing price differential between petrol and diesel cars.
While releasing the auto numbers for August, Maruti said sales in the hatchback segment, comprising the Swift, went down 11.9 per cent to 13,882 in July against 15,759 units last year.
Its popular compact sedan DZire posted a 33.6 per cent sales growth during the month at 15,249 units against 11,413 units in July 2012.
Sales of utility vehicles including Ertiga stood at 4,562 units in July, down 37.5 per cent from 7,294 units in the year-ago period. Exports during the month were down 27.3 per cent at 8,154 units compared with 11,210 units in July last year.