The premium hatchback came to resurrect the Baleno nameplate in India; it didn’t stop there.
Whenever the history of the Indian automobile industry is written, the name ‘Maruti Suzuki Baleno’ would be remembered twice; first as a failed sedan and second as a highly successful premium hatchback which ripped the competition. We revisit the five-year journey of the hatch and highlight some lesser-known facts.
More powerful RS avatar is now a history
After its launch, Maruti had introduced a more powerful iteration of the Baleno, the Baleno RS, on 3 March 2017. The Japanese automaker hoped that a performance variant would appeal to buyers. However, it only managed to do average sales compared to Maruti’s standards. The RS avatar breathed its last in January 2020.
What does Baleno sales record say?
|Financial Year||Units Sold|
|2020 (April 19 to Jan 20)||152,422|
The premium hatchback from Maruti has been consistently churning out average sales of 13,860 units every month since its launch in 2015. It recently crossed the landmark figures of more than 7 lakh sales till date. Here’s the year-on-year progress of the Maruti hatch.
|Number of units||Time taken|
The progress in sales has been phenomenal for the Baleno. It has shown consistency in attaining huge numbers every month. In January 2020, it reached the second spot in the sales chart only to be pinned by the Maruti Dzire. It managed 20,485 units in Jan.
Retailed from Nexa
The Maruti Baleno became the second car after the Maruti S-Cross to sell through the Nexa dealerships. It is a premium range of Maruti dealerships designed to give better consumer buying experience. Other budget range cars retail through the Arena outlets.
‘Baleno’ comes back after 8 years
Maruti took a bold step by bringing back a failed product’s name after 8 years. The Baleno sedan did receive many takers but eventually, due to shrinking sales, it was abandoned. In Italian, the term Baleno means ‘flash of lightning’. In its second stint, the name flashed too much of light, indeed.
First-ever CVT & Apple CarPlay
The Maruti Baleno attributes many first to his name. It was the first car from Maruti Suzuki in its long history to feature a CVT transmission. It was the only car in the country to receive a CVT automatic transmission. The premium hatchback also made a mark on the technological front. It was the first car in India to feature Apply CarPlay compatibility.
First-ever standard safety net
Baleno disrupted the segment and set new benchmarks in each department. The hatchback was the pioneer in standardizing dual airbags and ABS with EBD. Its competition offered it only as an option at that point in time.
There are very few cars in the country which are launched here and then taken to the world. The Baleno made a global debut in India. It was released here even before Japan and other foreign markets. This speaks how important was the Baleno’s launch. After five years, we can safely say it delivered what was expected out of it.
These were some of the lesser-known facts about the Baleno. If you have a story to tell about the Baleno, don’t forget to share it in the comments section below.