Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest auto maker in terms of sales as well as the number of vehicles has been India’s most loved vehicle since time immemorial. Swift, Alto, Zen, Maruti 800, A-Star – all its models have been success stories in their own right. But then Maruti has always been known for value for money in all its vehicles. And has therefore stuck to mostly serving the A and B segments.
But then all this is set to change with the launch of the upcoming Maruti Kizashi in December this year. Kizashi is Maruti’s first attempt at entering the D segment. It first came to India as a prototype during the Delhi Auto Expo. And now it looks set for a Dec – Jan launch in the country.
Doesn’t Kizashi look to be going the Tata Aria way? Both have been primed for international markets. The only difference being that Kizashi was first launched in Japan and USA in 2009 while in India, it is expected only now. But Aria was meant for export.
So what is so special about Kizashi? At a price tag of Rs 18 lacs, the features it includes need to be justified. It offers a 2400 cc engine and a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 4000. It accelerates from 0-60mph in 8 seconds. The most interesting part about the vehicle is the blending of the style from Europe and technical specifications from Japan. It’s beautiful interiors include Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and plush leather seats. The safety features include 6 airbags and 4 wheel brakes.
Maruti is making some interesting efforts to sell Kizashi. At first it wont be available at all dealerships. The sales force is being specially trained at handling customers for the high end segment.
Despite Maruti’s magnanimous brand name in the Indian automobile industry, it is not going to be an easy ride. With Honda Civic, Toyota, Skoda, Volkswagen among others already part of this market, it’s going to be one interesting journey.
What I feel is that this attempt by Maruti is an attempt to expand its customer base as the customers for their hatchback are coming under increasing pressure from their current competition.
Do you think such a strategy from Maruti would work?