India’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki has finally launched its much-awaited multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) XL6 at a price starting from Rs 9.79 lakh to Rs 11.46 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Maruti Suzuki XL6 comes with a BS-VI compliant K15 petrol engine along with Smart Hybrid technology. It will be offered across two variant levels with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions. The premium MPV will be powered by a BSVI compliant 1.5-litre K15B Smart Hybrid petrol engine that will deliver 105 hp and 138 Nm of torque. It will be offered with manual as well as automatic transmission options.
Manual trims are priced at Rs 9.79 lakh and Rs 10.36 lakh while the automatic versions are tagged at Rs 10.89 lakh and Rs 11.46 lakh respectively. It comes with six seat configurations with captain seats in second row.
“At Maruti Suzuki, we have always focused on bringing products that match the customers’ demand. The XL6 is an exclusive six-seater premium MPV, designed to meet the aspirations of evolved NEXA customers,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa told reporters here.
The vehicle would be sold through the company’s Nexa premium retail chain which has expanded its presence in over 200 cities with 364 outlets, he added. “There is a considerable increase in demand for premium multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) owing to the ever-evolving customer needs,” Ayukawa said.
XL6 is seventh model from the company’s stable to be compliant with BS-VI norms. Ayukawa said that Indian auto industry is undergoing a major shift in terms of new regulations, new technologies and new policies.
“As the leading automobile manufacturer of the country, MSI will ensure meeting all these regulations, expectations and requirements. On regulations, we will be ready much before the stipulated timelines,” Ayukawa said.
The company is also investing in its research and development centre to introduce latest technologies and higher level of localisation, he added. Through focus on new technologies like CNG, hybrid and electric vehicles the company aims to bring down emissions and give environment friendly mobility solutions to its customers, Ayukawa said.
When asked if the company would rethink its decision to discontinue small diesel engines, Ayukawa said small diesel engines are not feasible for BS-VI compliance. “For bigger size (diesel engine) we have to study and see market trends, if there is customer demand, we will consider, but is very difficult to continue with small diesel vehicles,” he noted.
When asked if GST rate cut would help at the moment, Ayukawa said in the past when auto industry went through difficulties, tax cuts have helped in reviving demand. On electric vehicles, Ayukawa said as battery technology is still evolving globally, it is not easy to satisfy customer expectations at the moment as costs are not reducing.
“We are trying to develop some products. We would be launching them next year, but it is very difficult to satisfy consumers,” he added. MSI Executive Director marketing and sales Shashank Srivastava said the company’s inventory levels currently stood around 35 days.
“There is enough inventory so there is no pressure to push. Our entire focus right now is on retail sales,” he added. Discounts being offered on models are higher right now as compared to fourth quarter of last fiscal, he added.
Srivastava said the company is hopeful that sales will start picking from the festive season and new product launches like the XL 6 will help it further. The six-seater premium MPV makes use of the fifth-generation Heartect platform. Safety features like ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, hill hold assist, ESP (Electronic Stability Program), high-speed warning alert, driver/co-driver seat belt reminder, front seatbelts with pre-tensioner and force limiter, ISOFIX and reverse parking sensors will be standard.
The company and its vendor partners have invested Rs 100 crore on the development of the new model. The company might also look at exporting the vehicle to neighbouring countries as well.
(With inputs from PTI)