Apart from Baleno, other models sold through Nexa are Ignis, Ciaz, XL6 and S-Cross. None of these vehicles have a CNG variant.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno CNG variant: Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is soon going to launch the CNG variant of its popular selling premium hatchback Baleno. The Baleno is sold through the Nexa chain of the dealership. With this new CNG variant under the Nexa showroom, consumers will get the option to reduce their running cost. CNG as a fuel is cheaper than petrol and diesel. However, in terms of ex-showroom price, CNG cars are at par with diesel vehicles. At the same time, they are costlier than petrol.
Shashank Srivastava, Senior ED, Marketing & Sales, Company told FE Online, “We are looking to introduce a CNG variant of the Baleno. The right timing is being considered for its launch. Srivastava further said that as part of Maruti’s strategy, there was no plan to sell CNG variants in Nexa showrooms, but we are going to do so keeping in mind the consumer feedback. The company is also planning to introduce CNG variants for some other models retailed through Nexa. “Consumers consider CNG to be a good option as it costs almost one-third that of petrol and diesel vehicles,” Srivastava said.
Maruti sells its cars through Nexa and Arena
Maruti sells its cars through two dealer chains Nexa and Arena. Apart from Baleno, other models sold through Nexa are Ignis, Ciaz, XL6 and S-Cross. None of these vehicles have a CNG variant. However, models like Alto, WagonR, Celerio, Dzire and Ertiga, which are sold through Arena, have been offered in CNG variants.
Increasing popularity of CNG vehicles
Maruti Suzuki has sold around 106,000 CNG cars in FY 2020. Sales grew 54% to 163,000 units in FY21. In the current financial year, the company has set a target of selling 240,000 CNG cars, and by the end of the December quarter, 150,000 cars have been sold. Maruti Suzuki entered the CNG space in the year 2010. Currently, Hyundai Motor India sells four CNG models – Santro, Grand i10 NIOS, Xcent and Aura. Apart from this, Tata Motors sells models like Tiago iCNG and Tigor iCNG and is planning to launch more models.
According to auto analysts, the two main reasons for the increase in the demand for CNG vehicles are the rising prices of petrol and diesel and the continuous increase in the number of CNG outlets. At present, there are around 3,100 CNG outlets in 250 cities, up from 2,207 at the beginning of FY21.