The light commercial vehicle (LCV)market just got competitive.
India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki has announced its entry into the segment with its new product ‘Super Carry’. The vehicle, powered by a 793 cc diesel engine and a pay load capacity of 740 kilogram will take on the Tata Ace which dominates the segment (vehicles with a payload of less than 2 tonne) with a 72 percent market share. The other major player in this segment is Mahindra & Mahindra which has products such as Jio, Maximo and Jeeto.
This LCV segment saw a volume of 1,16,560 units in 2015-16 which was lower than 1,31, 455 units in 2014-15. The scorching pace of growth this LCV segment saw prior to 2014-15 has slowed down in the last 18 months for two reasons. Firstly, there is an excess capacity that has been built up over the years and secondly, some demand has shifted to slightly bigger vehicles which have a payload capacity of 2 to 3.5 tonne. This segment saw higher volume of 1,83,414 units in 2015-16 compared to 1,77,132 units in 2014-15. Major players in this segment are Mahindra & Mahindra with a 69 percent market share followed by Ashok Leyland.
R.S Kalsi, Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki said, “Super Carry is designed and developed based on detailed research and understanding of customer requirements. It offers best of both the worlds – power and strength as well as carrying capacity. We are confident Super Carry will enhance the profitability of our customers.” He also said that the vehicle will be initially available in three cities: Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Ludhiana.
Kalsi also revealed, in a press release, that the company had invested Rs 300 crore to develop Super Carry.
Maruti Suzuki’s entry comes at a time when the overall LCV segment saw shrinking volumes. In 2015-16 3,34,371 units were sold compared to 3,37,377 units the previous year. Experts believe that this would put more pressure on the market which is yet to see a sharp revival in demand. Priced at Rs 4 lakh, the vehicle promises to offer industry leading comfort, safety and operational performance.