Country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India today launched its much awaited model 'Vitara Brezza' at an introductory price range of Rs 6.99 lakh and Rs 9.68 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), kicking off a price war in the compact SUV segment.
The model will compete mainly with the likes of Ford EcoSport and Mahindra TUV300 which are priced between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 10.65 lakh.
Read more from our special coverage on "MARUTI SUZUKI"
"We didn't have presence in one of the most key segments of the Indian market, that is the compact SUV. Vitara Brezza marks our entry into that segment," MSI MD & CEO Kenichi Ayukawa told reporters here.
While bookings for the new model starts from today, deliveries will be by the end of the month, the company said.
Ayukawa further said, "Class leading features, personalisation, future ready safety, outstanding fuel efficiency and an attractive price are sure to endear Vitara Brezza to customers."
On the development of the new compact SUV, he said: "This is a work of Maruti Suzuki engineers using Suzuki's core technology and global development process."
The company claims that the new SUV delivers an outstanding fuel efficiency of 24.3 km per litre, "the highest in SUV category and 10-20% superior to existing models in the segment".
The vehicle is available only in diesel fuel and is powered by a 1.3 litre engine.
The company said it will focus on the domestic market and has not planned for exports of the model as of now.
Vitara Brezza is among the first of a new range of products in which the company's Indian engineers have played a bigger role in designing and development as parent Suzuki looks to enhance its base here.
MSI Executive Director R&D, C V Raman led the designing and development. The company had invested Rs 860 crore on the development of the vehicle.
Vitara Brezza is the second of the 15 new models that MSI will launch in the next five years as it aims to sell two million units annually by 2020.
MSI has already said that starting with the compact SUV, it will pay royalty to its parent Suzuki in rupee instead of yen for all new models. The move is expected to result in an average royalty rate of 5% of net sales compared to 5.6 to 6% for the existing models, which are paid in yen.