Maruti Suzuki has been the leader in the compact SUV segment, but with many new players entering the market, what advantage does the Brezza have over others?
Even though the compact SUV segment was present before our entry, Brezza increased volumes in this category when it launched in 2016. It is known for its design, performance and features. The Brezza was also the first vehicle in the segment to comply with side and offset crash testing, which was one of the new regulations that came in. Now, customer requirements are changing as they look for ambitious functionality, digital connectivity as well as the comfort, safety and design that characterize the new Brezza.
The Brezza continues to be based on the global C platform with additional structural updates. Could you tell us about these updates?
The wheelbase of the Breeza remains the same although the height has increased a bit and due to the increased equipment level the weight has increased slightly.
Safety is paramount for all manufacturers and with varying safety ratings this has created some confusion especially in the mind of the buyer. Could you explain the parameters of a safe car for Indian conditions?
Various perspectives need to be considered in the area of security. The first thing is that all vehicles must have the required active and passive safety features. Not just from a regulator’s perspective, but going beyond that.
Customer education is very important, which we believe is lacking by many. Changing mentalities is therefore a great challenge. We all forget that features like airbags are secondary restraint systems, the main one being the seat belt.
The third is traffic management and road safety and Maruti Suzuki believes the responsibility lies with the manufacturer. Traffic management and enforcement also play a vital role, as we have set up speed cameras in Delhi and automatic challans.
Many manufacturers have introduced Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) packages. Can we see this being introduced in Maruti Suzuki cars soon?
There are many features available like lane keeping assist and autonomous emergency braking to name a few but most of them are inhibited as it does not work in India. I don’t think enough tests have been done in India to figure it out. For example, autonomous vehicles for pedestrians and two-wheelers are inhibited while it is applicable for cars. Our traffic is very different and no regulations for other countries should be planted here.
Maruti Suzuki has announced that it will focus on various SUV segments. Will the spotlight shift from sedans to SUVs?
I think India has many requirements when you look at the market from a rural, urban, affordable and aspirational perspective. We will continue to serve our full range and participate where volumes increase. As of today, the SUV segment is growing and we will be in it, but when you look at the hatchback segment, we have quite a big share and we will focus on dominating that market.