In this SUV-obsessed world enough is never enough and in order to capitalise on the craze, Maruti Suzuki of India, which supplies almost all of South Africa’s Suzuki models, is said to be planning two more.
With the Fronx, Grand Vitara and Jimny, Suzuki seems to have the SUV and crossover space rather well covered on the global automotive market.
Transportworld Nigeria learnt that, the manufacturer is working on a new entry-level SUV product to launch around 2026 or 2027, as well as a larger seven-seater based on the current Grand Vitara, which could hit the scene around 2025.
“The SUV trend is becoming bigger,” Maruti Suzuki CEO Tisashi Takeuchi said.
“At present, the main SUV categories are 4 metres and 4.3 metres, but they will expand further – a little bit at the lower end and also at the upper end. There are gaps, we can offer something at the bottom and something at the top, we will try to fill those gaps.”
Although the current S-Presso and Ignis models have SUV-inspired designs, Suzuki insiders said the new compact high-rider will boast a design that is more along the lines of a “proper SUV”, allowing it to compete more effectively with models like the new Hyundai Exter.
Of course, for cost reasons, it won’t have “proper SUV” underpinnings like the ladder-frame Jimny. Thus Suzuki’s Heartect platform that underpins the Swift and S-Presso, among others, will almost certainly form the basis of the new compact, which is set to slot beneath the Brezza.
There is no doubt that, the two variants can hit a sweet spot for Nigerian car lovers looking for an SUV presenting the best compromise between size and price.
However the upcoming entry-level SUV, though far from confirmed if and when it will be in the Nigeria market, is a likely candidate for local introduction and it could scoop up many Swift owners who are looking to make the SUV migration.
One may not be surprised if the upcoming compact share its floorpan and cabin architecture with the new Swift hatch, while differentiating itself with a taller SUV body.
There are very strong pointers that, the larger seven-seater based on the Grand Vitara could also be a decent fit for the Nigerian market and it would be a natural rival to the currently uncontested Hyundai Grand Creta. Not much is known about the upcoming “Grander Grand Vitara” but it is rumoured to have a hybrid drivetrain.
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