The price of the Grand Vitara, the cross-badged variant of the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, is expected to be revealed on or around September 15, Shashank Srivastava, senior executive officer, marketing and sales, tells Fortune India in an exclusive conversation. “The prices of the Grand Vitara will be announced around the time dispatches begin to dealers, which is mid-September (15th September),” he adds.

The Grand Vitara will be the first vehicle to be powered by Toyota’s self-charging hybrid technology, as part of the agreement Suzuki has signed with Toyota for the Indian markets.

The prices of the Hyryder were announced on Friday, with the full-hybrid variants starting at ₹15,11,000 (ex-showroom), and the range-topping V eDrive 2WD hybrid variant at ₹18,99,000. However, Srivastava eschews divulging into whether the prices of the Grand Vitara will be at par with those of the Hyrdyer. “We must look at the entire segment. There’s Hyundai Creta, Tata Harrier, MG Hector, and Toyota Hyryder. So, the pricing will be done to make it a competitive and compelling package vis-a-vis the entire segment, and not just the Hyryder,” he alludes.

The Grand Vitara has received around 50,000 bookings since the bookings opened on July 11, and MSIL is confident that despite the production happening in Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s (TKM) facility in Bidadi, Karnataka, it will be able to fulfil these bookings. It should be noted that the cross-badged products of MSIL are priced below TKM's. For instance, the base, no-frills variant of the Baleno is priced at ₹6.42 lakhs (ex-showroom), whereas Glanza, Toyota's cross-badged model, is priced at ₹6.59 lakhs. The range-topping variant of the Baleno, with the automatic transmission, is priced at ₹9.60 lakhs (ex-showroom), and for TKM, the Glanza is priced at ₹9.99 lakhs.

Originally the Grand Vitara was slated to commence deliveries in September, after the prices were announced, but it appears that the deliveries of the Grand Vitara will commence at the cusp of the Navratri—which marks the beginning of the festive season, predominantly in north India. “We need to do our internal, comprehensive checks, and for that we need a sizable inventory. Once the production was ramped up, we were able to secure enough vehicles for our checks, and now, we’re on course to deliver the vehicles at the end of the month, when Navratri begins,” he explains.

The Grand Vitara is the first product as part of MSIL’s plans to double down on the mid-size SUV segment, and its success will chart the course of the company’s future products. “This segment is 18% of the entire passenger-vehicle market, and it was around 5.5 lakh cars last year. So, it is important for us, but right now, our future launches will depend on how well the Grand Vitara does,” he adds.

MSIL was able to increase its market share, outpacing the growth of the entire passenger vehicle market. Its sales were led by the Baleno and the Brezza. “Both cars have done well for us ever since it was launched. Baleno has given us high volumes since 2016 and has been a segment leader. Brezza has also given high volumes. But even the best-selling models require some refreshments after a certain point in time. We added a lot of technical features to both the vehicles, which is what the consumer wants these days,” Srivastava enthuses.

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