India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki on Monday launched its new mid-size sedan Ciaz at Rs 6.99-9.80 lakh, its third attempt at cracking the segment after twin failures with the Baleno and SX4 sedans.
Ciaz has been designed by Suzuki Japan, which has spent Rs 650 crore towards its development, specifically for markets like India and China, and competes with the likes of current segment leader Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid. Despite its track record of not succeeding beyond small or compact sedans, the company is confident of achieving segment leadership.
“We have received very encouraging response so far with over 10,000 bookings from people who have neither seen the car nor are they aware of the price,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India.
“There are around 1.4 million customers in India who own either a Swift or a Dzire and may be looking at upgrading. Ciaz is for them. We think we should be able to sell around 60,000-80,000 units every year,” added Ayukawa.
Maruti has been constrained by its image as a successful small-car maker that has hampered its prospects in the big-car segments.
“Ciaz will change that legacy,” said RS Kalsi, head, domestic sales and marketing. “This is a game changer for us as well as the segment. It will expand the category.” Ciaz comes both in petrol and diesel variants, powered by 1.4 litre and 1.3 litre engines, respectively. It has four petrol and diesel variants each and two automatic variants that are powered by the same petrol engine.
The petrol variants of the sedan are priced between Rs 6,99,000 and Rs 9,34,000 while the diesel variants are priced between Rs 8,04,000 and Rs 9,80,000 (ex-showroom Delhi prices). The automatic variants are priced at Rs 8.65-9.34 lakh. Ciaz is cheaper than Honda City by around Rs 25,000 and Rs 1.3 lakh across variants.