To protect its market share in the passenger vehicle sector, Maruti-Suzuki is looking to launch a slew of products in the coming months. One of the new offerings, as you all know, will be a premium sedan based on the Maruti-Suzuki Ciaz that was showcased at the Auto Expo 2014.
This premium sedan we are referring to is none other than the ‘YL1’ that has been caught a numerous times in the recent months in India. One of our reader also snapped it and shared across its pics with us, one of which is featured on this page.
What we know is that the launch is expected to take place sometime towards the end of this year in 2014 in India but according to a slightly confusing report on MoneyControl.com, Ciaz may be placed at a slightly higher sub-segment than the current SX4. This is a wee bit different from the expectations of the new Ciaz being an exact replacement to the SX4 which starts at Rs 7.15 Lakhs and tops at Rs 9.5 Lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi and happens to be the costliest Made-in-India car Maruti has on offer at present.
According to the report, new Ciaz is expected to start at a base price of somewhere around 9 Lakhs with the top of the line variant teasing the D-segment sedans, at around 12 Lakhs. Obviously, this is under the assumption that these prices are ex-showroom Delhi.
What is a little confusing is that, despite the price bracket that they have mentioned, they have numbered the new City and the Verna as its chief competition.
Currently, Maruti doesn’t have a presence in the premium sedan segment and their Kizashi has failed miserably. Their long-standing focus has been on their core segment of hatchbacks and entry-level cars. However, as international manufacturers flock to India (and get aggressive), Maruti-Suzuki has started to feel the heat.
In order to keep their market share intact, they are planning to unveil a slew of offerings across various segments of the car market. This also coincides with the change of guard at the company’s topmost echelons, as Kenichi Ayukawa took over the reins as MD from Shinzo Nakanishi in April, 2013.
There is no doubt that Ciaz does look larger and slightly more upmarket than the regular C2 segment sedans like the new City, Fiesta, Vento or Verna. So, is Maruti playing another master-stroke by offering a car which falls right between the C2 and D segment sedans in the form of this Ciaz by offering a bigger and more premium car for a very little price increase over the regular C-segmenters?
This appears to be a possibility if this report is predicting the future correctly. Will it work or not can not be predicted right now, but this would be something different from what the competition is doing. Considering, that Maruti Suzuki has not been able to bell the cat in anything over the C1 compact sedan segment, this is their way of trying things a little differently.
And frankly speaking, Ciaz appears to be Maruti’s first ‘real’ shot at the higher segment and it does look all set to trouble some of the existing players in that segment. Only if, they get over the 1.3L Multijet and get a more powerful diesel motor in place!
Also Check Out: Facelifted Swift & Dzire Launch By the End of This Year