With the launch of the 2018 Maruti Ciaz complete, India's largest carmaker is in the process of readying the next generation 2018 Maruti Ertiga (codename YHA) for a festive season launch. Previous reports stated that Maruti will be readying a crossover variant on the new Ertiga too, which would launch within 6 months of the MPV going on sale. However, Maruti's, CV Raman, Senior Executive Director (Engineering), hinted otherwise.
When asked by IndianAutosBlog as to the business case for an Ertiga Cross, Raman stopped at saying that the "segment is very small", and that existing products in the segment sell "very little" already.
Honda Cars India launched the Honda BR-V in May 2016, and though initial response was inline with company estimates, volumes have seen a steady downtrend. Sales of the BR-V averages at 670 units per month (sales numbers in the preceding 6 months) whereas the Hyundai Creta with two fewer seats which commands a much higher price, averages 10,200 units a month.
The case is even worse when the Renault Lodgy Stepway is considered. Launched to complement the Lodgy range in June 2015, the Stepway variant with body cladding and a new grille was pitched to those seeking the practicality of the Lodgy but with a rough-and-tough crossover appearance. Sales of the Lodgy and Stepway combined averaged 140 units in the past 6 months, the Stepway nameplate has almost no takers.
Given the market dynamic, Maruti could choose to conserve valuable R&D and develop a full blown crossover, instead of repurposing the MPV for SUV duty. That said the company could include skid plates, body and wheel arch cladding and diamond cut alloy wheels in its Maruti i-Create personalization program.