India’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India, on Tuesday gave a midlifecycle facelift to one of its hottest-selling small cars, the Swift, adding features such as push-start ignition and reverse parking camera while improving the vehicle’s fuel economy by 10%.
Priced between Rs. 4.42-5.90 lakh for the four petrol variants and Rs. 5.56-6.95 lakh for the three diesel versions, the car is Rs. 10,000-24,000 costlier than the existing version. It comes 2 months after the rival Hyundai launched the secondgeneration i20 that has gone on to become the car maker’s most successful launch with an order backlog of 41,000 units and a waiting period of up to 6 months.
“The i20 has exceeded our targets. We are averaging 8,000 units a month and look to cross the 10,000-unit mark,” said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Hyundai India. Swift has led the segment since its launch in May 2005, with more than 1.2 million cars on the road. In recent times, it has slowed, and its 9.5% year-on-year growth in April-September 2014 lags Maruti’s overall 14.7% growth. The arrival of the new Honda Jazz early next year will spice up the contest even further.