Hyundai challenges Maruti's sales pitch

Alleging that Maruti was indulging in unfair trade practice, Hyundai has asked for relief from MRPTC.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2006 17:42 IST

India's top two carmakers have come face-to-face once again with Hyundai Motors moving MRTP Commission challenging the sales pitch unleased by market leader Maruti in its latest advertisement campaign, saying it was a "misleading and disparaging campaign".

Alleging that Maruti was indulging in unfair trade practice, Hyundai has asked for relief from the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission.

The case is expected to come up for hearing on Monday, sources said.

Earlier last year, the two companies had got into a spat over advertising brochures of Hyundai titled 'Xing ahead of Swift'. Maruti, which had at that time launched Swift, had served a legal notice on Hyundai demanding withdrawal of certain information in the brochure, terming it as 'factual error'.

Now Hyundai has questioned the advertisement on a number of parameters, including comparison of various car companies' products on fuel efficiency, maintenance cost and re-sale value.

"Hyundai has filed a case against Maruti, alleging that the information contained in the advertisement is misleading and shows Hyundai in a negative light," sources said.

Maruti had come out with full-page advertisements in leading newspapers last month where it claimed that its products scored highest in parameters of mileage, maintenance costs and resale value.

The company had based the advertisement on studies conducted by a leading private research agency as well as its own used-car company 'TrueValue'.

When contacted, officials in Hyundai refused to comment on the matter. "The matter is sub-judice and we will not like to comment on the issue at the moment," a company spokesperson said. Maruti officials could not be contacted for ascertaining their views.

The advertisement in question, released in national dailies last month, had a tag-line 'Buy it. Run it. Or sell it. A Maruti Suzuki is unmatched value'. It said, "India's five most fuel-efficient petrol cars are from Maruti Suzuki. Besides the lowest repair costs, our cars have the lowest overall costs of spares. Your Maruti Suzuki will have a significantly higher resale price than other cars of its age and class."

First Published: Sep 03, 2006 17:42 IST