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With Ciaz, Maruti takes on Honda, Hyundai

S Ronendra Singh Gurgaon | Updated on March 13, 2018 Published on October 06, 2014

Maruti Suzuki launched its premium sedan Ciaz in Gurgaon on October 6, 2014.   -  S Ronendra Singh

Photos for the Maruti Ciaz

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Hopes to sell 60,000 to 80,000 units a year

Maruti Suzuki India on Monday launched its premium sedan, Ciaz, priced between ₹6.99 lakh and ₹9.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), available in both petrol and diesel engines.

While the petrol variant (K14 VVT, 1.4-litre) is priced between ₹6.99 lakh and ₹9.34 lakh, the diesel version (DDiS200, 1.3-litre) is priced at ₹8.04 lakh to ₹9.80 lakh.

The Hyundai Verna and the Honda City will be the closest competitor to the Ciaz, apart from the likes of Tata Motors’ Zest, Volkswagen’s Vento and Skoda’s Rapid.

Maruti targets to sell 60,000-80,000 units a year of the latest launch. The company said the petrol version gives a mileage of 20.73 km per litre and the diesel variant gives 26.21 km.

Countering competition

According to analysts, the pricing for the Ciaz is aggressive, signifying Maruti Suzuki is clearly looking for leadership position in this segment, too.

Besides, it also comes at a crucial time when the company is facing stiff competition in its key compact segment, they said.

“The Ciaz launch is an excellent strategy to counter competition and pose a big threat to the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna.

“We do expect some cannibalisation and consumers moving from B segment products such as the Dzire to the C (sedan) segment Ciaz,” Puneet Gupta of IHS Automotive, told BusinessLine.

So, the new challenge for Maruti Suzuki will not only be to sell the Ciaz in good numbers but also to sustain Swift Dzire volumes, he added.

Value for money

Abdul Majeed J Shaikh, Partner at PriceWaterHouseCoopers, said the success of any new launch in this segment to large extent depends on how customers perceive value for money, and they will look at the product from all the key angles such as fuel efficiency, space, look of the product, durability, safety, and the overall maintenance cost.

“If the product delivers on customers’ expectations, then it will do well in the market. If a customer perceives better than the existing product on all the count mentioned above, it will then give a run for money,” he said.

Maruti believes the car will ‘definitely’ do well in the market and will become the leader in the premium sedan category (the industry sells around 12,000 premium sedans a month).

Therefore, the India launch of the Ciaz is also the global launch for the company.

It has already got close to 10,000 bookings for the car since it started advertising campaigns last month.

Exports

“Maruti will make the Ciaz in India with 98 per cent localisation. We will export to other countries from here,” Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and Chief Executive, said at the launch.

He added that the company will export the car to countries in Europe, West Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Maruti and its vendors have invested ₹620 crore towards development of this model, he said.

The A3 sedan segment will be one of the fastest growing segments in the near future.

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Published on October 06, 2014
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