Maruti Suzuki is gearing up to face fierce competition by introducing Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) technology in its offerings. According to insiders, the company is planning to launch the ADAS-equipped Grand Vitara by the first quarter of the upcoming financial year. This technologically advanced SUV is expected to be priced between Rs 50,000 and Rs 75,000 more than the top-end trims of the Smart Hybrid and Strong Hybrid variants of the midsize SUV segment. The Grand Vitara currently starts at Rs 10.70 lakh for the base version and goes up to Rs 19.20 lakh for the top-end trim.
ADAS, or Advanced Driver Assist System, is a suite of electronic functions designed to enhance the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Its goal is to minimize and eventually eliminate accidents, depending on the level of the system’s functions. A level 2 ADAS, like the one in the upcoming Grand Vitara, can take over steering, acceleration, and braking in specific situations, offering features like autonomous obstacle avoidance and autonomous parking.
Maruti Suzuki has chosen Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) to manufacture this advanced SUV, as part of a collaboration between Suzuki Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation. TKM already manufactures the Suzuki Grand Vitara and the rebadged Hyryder in Karnataka. Sources suggest that TKM might also release an ADAS-equipped Hyryder, though there’s been no official confirmation. The Grand Vitara with ADAS will compete with other vehicles in the segment that offer similar systems, including the Kia Seltos, Honda Elevate, Toyota Hyryder, and the facelifted Creta, which is expected to be launched by March 2024.
Maruti Suzuki’s strategic move to introduce ADAS is aimed at staying competitive, especially when rivals like Tata, Hyundai, Honda, and Kia are already offering level 2 ADAS technology. The company is planning to leverage its extensive retail network to promote ADAS-equipped vehicles. Sources indicate that Maruti Suzuki is currently in discussions with the International Centre For Automotive Technology (ICAT) for test runs at their Manesar track. After the tests are completed, the company intends to position the SUV as a safety-focused vehicle accessible to a wider audience.
While the company initially planned to launch the Grand Vitara with ADAS during the third quarter of this calendar year, global semiconductor and component shortages have impacted the timeline. Nevertheless, Maruti Suzuki is working to streamline the process and has placed orders for key electronic components like radars, sensors, and cameras for both the Hyryder and the Grand Vitara.
In this fiercely competitive midsize SUV segment, the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara aims to cater to the growing number of aspirational customers looking for vehicles with ADAS capabilities. Puneet Gupta, Director (India & ASEAN Automotive Sales Forecast) at S&P Global Mobility, commented on the need for this upgrade, stating that vehicles like the new Kia Seltos are currently ahead of Maruti Suzuki in terms of features. The introduction of ADAS in the Grand Vitara is a response to the high priority consumers place on advanced safety technologies.
The penetration of ADAS in India’s domestic passenger vehicle market stood at approximately 3.4 percent last year and is expected to reach 4.2 percent by the end of 2023, according to 6Wresearch, a global market research and consulting firm. By 2030, it’s estimated that 12.4 percent of cars will be equipped with ADAS, signifying its growing importance in the automotive landscape.