They are known by many names be it Generation Y, Generation Me or Echo Boomers. Maruti Suzuki prefers the more straightforward term of millennials defined as those born in the late 1980s or early ‘90s.

It is to this generation that the company will present a New Year gift in the form of the Ignis compact on January 13, barely three weeks from now. The launch date of Friday the 13th may sound ominous to some but is perfectly in sync with the millennial buyer’s liberated outlook.

“It is a premium urban compact and the first of its kind which is truly iconic and unconventional,” says RS Kalsi, Executive Director (Marketing & Sales). The Ignis also reflects Maruti’s intent to position itself with the upwardly mobile buyer, a move which began with the S-Cross and leading to the Nexa dealership premium experience.

Expected to be priced between ₹5.5 lakh and ₹9 lakh, the Ignis will, in all likelihood, be the second vehicle in a reasonably affluent family. These youngsters will have typically grown up in a car buying home and, as CV Raman, Executive Director (Engineering), laughingly adds, their dads will perhaps foot the bill for this new compact.

Driven by digital gen

The Ignis will have a 1.2 litre petrol and 1.3 diesel with automatic options available in both versions. These features are expected to make a strong connect with both men and women buyers. Beyond India, the car will also be shipped out to Europe in February followed by Japan, South Asia and South-East Asia.

Kalsi is convinced that India’s biggest strength lies in its new millennial buyers who are going to drive growth. Nearly 41 per cent of the population is under 20 and this generation thinks differently from its predecessors. The fact that 27 per cent of car customers (compared to 22 per cent five years ago) are under 25 years old only shows that this segment cannot be ignored.

“This is the digital generation which believes that being cool is being different. Travelling is their gateway to adventure. To them, the car is an extension of their personality and they are naturally passionate about it,” says Kalsi.

Premium feel

It is for these millennial buyers that the Ignis was developed and designed over the last three years. “The car has unique proportions and a confident stance with a lot of space inside even though it looks compact from outside,” adds Raman.

The projector headlamps, fog lamps with chrome insets and all-black alloys are part of the premium, exclusive feel. The interiors have a dual tone dash board in black and ivory, cockpit-inspired console panel as well as interior accents matching the body colour.

“Nearly 80 per cent of the millennial generation buys products for design and style and those which are trending and unconventional. They like the premium feel and quality,” says Kalsi. The Ignis also offers both Android and iOS compatible smartphone linkage display audio keeping its user profile in mind.

“This generation reads a lot before buying a car and checks out details with friends on social media. They know exactly what they want, and hence, positioning Ignis is critical for Nexa which already retails S-Cross and Baleno,” he adds. There are nearly 200 of these outlets spread across tier-I and II cities.