Eyeing leadership position in the premium hatchback segment, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) on Monday introduced Baleno priced between Rs 4.99 lakh and Rs 8.11 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Baleno will be competing with the likes of segment leader Hyundai i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo which are priced between Rs 5.34 lakh and Rs 8.63 lakh. The diesel version of the hatch is tagged at INR 6.16 lakh for base model and it goes up to INR 8.11 lakh for top-end variant.
However, Maruti Suzuki Baleno’s entire line-up is amply loaded in terms of safety features – even Sigma, which gets an anti-theft security system, ABS with EBD, dual airbags, and front seat belt pre-tensioners and force limiters among other features. India will be the only location for manufacture of the Baleno, which has been called the global hatchback by Suzuki. We have sold on an average four thousand cars per month in NEXA segment (ie S CROSS) since its launch in August this year.
Moreover, Maruti Suzuki Baleno is the first vehicle to offer Apple CarPlay in India.
While the DDiS 190 diesel engine (1.3L) delivers a fuel efficiency of 27.39kpl, the VVT petrol 1.2L gives a mileage of 21.4kpl.
Initial volumes of 5,000-6,000 units are on the radar as exports to Japan and Europe monthly. During the April- September period of the current fiscal, around 2.9 lakh compact hatchbacks have been sold. The first model will be the premium Baleno hatchback that had its global launch in New Delhi on October 26. Maruti Suzuki and its supplier partners have invested Rs 1,060 crore in the development of Baleno. Handa did not specify the quantum of export to Japan but said that as per rough estimates total Baleno exports across markets could be around 30,000 units annually. Overall there are 80 NEXA outlets in 36 cities of the country which would also be increased to over 100 in nearly 50 cities by the year end. In the late 1990s, the carmaker was marketing the Baleno sedan that was unable to rustle up adequate numbers and had to be discontinued.