The Mahindra Marazzo might have gotten off to a decent start with over 13,500 bookings recorded in the last two and a half months, however, Mahindra is on their guard as India's largest car maker - Maruti Suzuki - has launched the second generation of the popular family van.
The 2018 Maruti Ertiga which went on sale on 21 November is backed by a massive fan following. Its predecessor, the first gen Ertiga introduced in April 2012 sold a whopping 4.18 lakh units in the past six and a half years, even as other manufacturers tried to dethrone the Ertiga only to have their fingers burned. Car makers Honda and Renault have almost withdrawn their people movers, the Mobilio and Lodgy (although the websites of both makers continue to list these MPVs) while the Ertiga held its throne.
The Marazzo - whose name means 'shark' and design is also inspired from the elasmobranch fish type - thus far has appealed to an audience looking for something larger than the current Ertiga yet smaller and less expensive than the Innova Crysta. At 4,585 mm long, 1,866 mm wide, 1,774 mm tall and 2,760 mm wheelbase, the Marazzo is significantly larger than the current Ertiga's 4,296 mm, 1,695 mm, 1,685 mm and 2,740 mm specs respectively. However, the 2018 Ertiga bridges this gap thanks to its 4,395 mm overall length and 1,735 mm width; further Maruti's Senior Executive Director, C V Raman confirmed that the engine has been squeezed into a tighter footprint to liberate more cabin space.
Aside from better interior space, the 2018 Ertiga is also a step up from its predecessor on the features and convenience front. The Marazzo offers projector headlights, alloy wheels, dual front airbags, ABS, EBD, a touchscreen Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible entertainment system and rear AC as its chief features, all of which are on offer on the new Ertiga too.
Where the Marazzo loses out to the Ertiga is in the former's diesel-only availability with a manual transmission. The 2018 Ertiga though comes with a 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine and a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine with the convenience of an automatic transmission on the petrol engine as well. With a country moving towards petrol driven passenger vehicles, the Marazzo has its work cut out in luring buyers to showrooms.
Added to the above, Maruti's engines which are known to offer best in class fuel efficiency, a key parameter to win the Indian buyer's heart, claim a class leading 19.34 km/l (petrol-MT)/18.69 km/l (petrol-AT)/25.47 km/l (diesel-MT) and the earliest Mahindra will offer a petrol Marazzo is 2020.
Adding insult to injury, Maruti has priced the 2018 Ertiga from INR 7.44 lakhs, ex Showroom for the petrol and INR 8.84 lakhs onwards for the diesel, a full lakh cheaper than the Marazzo, which is due for a price increase from January.
Combine the above with Maruti's unmatched sales and service touchpoints, brand value and recall, overall cost of ownership and how Maruti outdoes itself with every new generation (the new Swift was the fastest to 1 lakh unit sales while the new Dzire took the crown of India's best selling car), Mahindra will definitely have to get creative to make sure 'Marazzo' doesn't go down as another endangered shark.