Six years ago, India's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, broke new ground and established a whole new segment by launching the Swift, which quickly became its bestseller and redefined the automotive industry.
On Wednesday, the company took this game to another level when it showed off a bigger, more powerful and more fuel-efficient Swift.
Priced between Rs 4.2 lakh —for the base petrol variant — and Rs 6.4 lakh for the top-end diesel (which was not on offer earlier), Maruti claims to have got over 50,000 bookings for the car — almost 6 times what it got in 2005. It has sold almost 600,000 Swifts so far.
"We have launched the new Swift at a time when there was a significant demand for the outgoing model," said Shinzo Nakanishi, MD and CEO, MSIL.
"Our low sales last month, were to a large extent because we did not have any Swift to sell, in anticipation of a new model," said Mayank Pareek, Maruti's managing executive officer (marketing and sales). "The Swift is one model that has always been insulated from any slowdown."
Ever since its launch, the Swift has been the car to beat in the premium hatchback segment. Some 11 cars are jostling for space in the segment today.
Maruti has increased the monthly production of the Swift to 18,000 units from 13,000. If it sells as many, the Swift will become the country's second largest selling car behind the Alto.