Whoever came up with the idea of a three row van on the Swift platform today must be awarded a promotion and a multi-fold raise. The Ertiga's sales volumes in India are impressive, the launch timing was spot on and its sales story is largely unaffected by the shrinking B+ segment. The Ertiga is from a manufacturer who is considered to lack the mettle to sell anything other than hatchbacks or mini cars.
Any launch that has hit the sweet spot in India has this one problem - the petrol variants have no takers and if the fuel variant split was planned well in advance, as these things usually are, there is a gradual inventory pile up that results in discounting or offers, thereby having a negative influence on the brand image and cutting down the profitability of what would be already be an aggressively or low priced set of variants.
This isn't a problem for India's largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki as its Ertiga is an example of the 'right car at the right time', not just in India but in every market the car is launching into. In Indonesia, the significance of its impact is understood when you see Toyota rushing to upgrade segment leaders Daihatsu Xenia and the Toyota Avanza in the wake of the Ertiga's launch.
The Ertiga was the second best selling car in Indonesia in February and April, while shortage of supply put the brakes in March. Indonesia is a petrol market and the improving demand is very likely helping Maruti's production planners if they had gone wrong with the demand forecasting of petrol cars in India.
PT Suzuki Indomobil Sales (SIS) has now increased the production capacity of their plant in East Bekasi to 7,000 units a month to cut delivery period of the Ertiga. The plant assembles the Ertiga, supplied by Maruti, with manual and automatic transmissions, and also exports a part of the produce to Thailand. The plant also contract manufactures the Mazda VX-1, a badge-engineered version of the car that hit retail stores in early May. The low demand for petrol Ertigas in India is being offset by the car's increasing popularity in Indonesia.
Suzuki introduced the Ertiga in Indonesia last year with a single blower, followed by a double blower variant and topped off the range with the automatic variant last month. The AT variant is seeing a phase wise launch throughout the country.
[Source - theglobejournal.com]