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Published on: July 8, 2022, 3:10 p.m.
The new Brezza races ahead
  • Brezza: redefining the compact SUV segment; Photo: S M Boothem

By S.M. Boothem

Maruti Suzuki India’s Vitara Brezza has been a successful product ever since its launch in 2016.  The recently introduced new Brezza at a price between Rs7.99 lakh and Rs13.96 lakh has again won the hearts of customers by clocking more than 50,000 bookings. The Brezza in its new avatar comes as a feature-rich entry-level SUV.

“Conceptualized, designed and developed in India, Brezza, with its stylish design, bold stance and unmistakable road presence has redefined the compact SUV segment in India. The most loved compact SUV, with over 7,50,000 delighted customers has ruled the sales charts by consistently being among the top 10 best-selling passenger vehicles,” said Hisashi Takeuchi, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki at the launch.

“We started the Vitara Brezza in 2016 and it was a matter of pride for Maruti Suzuki’s engineering, design and development teams when we developed the Brezza from scratch.  And today after six years, we want to make the new Brezza stand out with better design, and performance and integrate more features for the new customers of today. So, all in all, the new Brezza is a great value proposition,” says CV Raman, Sr Executive Director – Engineering, Maruti Suzuki.

Suzuki standards

According to Raman, there were many challenges faced in making the new Brezza. From 2020 till 2022, the Covid pandemic created a lot of difficulties for the team, not only for Maruti but also its suppliers. There were setbacks in trying to meet timelines, keeping up quality levels and making sure everything was going just right.  But they also soon learned how to adjust to a new way of working in the digital age – working from home or working from anywhere, collaboration within the team and with the suppliers – to be able to meet the standards set by Suzuki.

A variety of features have been added to the new Brezza for the benefit of customers. The electric sunroof and the 360-view camera are the latest additions to the new Brezza. The 22.86 cm SmartPlay Pro+ Infotainment system with HD display offers an intuitive user interface with advanced Voice Assist. Wireless Charging Dock with LED indicator helps comfortable charging.

The Head-Up Display (HOD) allows customers to drive without taking their eyes off the road by displaying information like speed, rpm and fuel economy. It also offers 40+ connected features. Brezza sports six airbags, electric stability program (ESP) and Hill Hold Assist for the safety of the customer.

Young and aspirational customers

The compact SUV segment where Brezza is present has become the largest segment. Overall industry sales were 30.68 lakh units out of which about 12,30,000 were SUVs and the entry-level SUVs sold 6,52,000 numbers. It was not so large five years back. The top four compact SUVs were Brezza, Nexon, Venue and Sonet. 

The top criteria for buying SUVs in 2016 and 2017 were design, brand reputation, price and mileage. Over the last two years, two big criteria have been added – technology and features. “Customers have changed a bit and are more aspirational and this is what we wanted to bring into the new Brezza. We added a lot of features. Bookings have crossed the 50,000 mark which is a good sign. Hopefully, we will get more volume and market share,” says Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, Maruti Suzuki.

The company is making every effort to reduce the waiting period for deliveries. Currently, production is 10,000 per month and there are plans to increase the capacity. The investment involved in the new Brezza was Rs760 crore. The carmaker enjoys a market share of 67 per cent in the non-SUV segment. “If we want to get past 50 per cent market share, we need to have higher segment SUVs. One of the big segments we are looking at is mid-SUVs.  Currently, we have Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, Tata Harrier and MG Hector in this segment. We will be shortly launching another car, a bigger SUV in the mid-size segment. This vehicle is bigger than the Creta.  Production will start in August but the vehicle will be launched in the third week of July. This will give us good volumes in the mid-size segment. Also, other categories of SUVs are emerging like lifestyle SUVs. We are planning to introduce this to strengthen our portfolio in that segment,” elaborates Srivastava.

The strong demand for the new Brezza and Maruti’s aggressive plans to enter new SUV segments will generate sales volumes to rapidly increase its market share.

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