Maruti Suzuki Zen likely to return in India: What you should know

Maruti Suzuki Zen is likely to return to India in a compact SUV form and will take its inspiration from the Maruti Suzuki Future S concept that was showcased at the Auto Expo 2018.

By: | Updated: September 18, 2018 9:57 PM
Maruti Suzuki Zen India comeback Maruti Suzuki Zen India comeback

Maruti Suzuki could be planning to launch the Zen in India. An old rival of the soon to launch Hyundai Santro, the Maruti Suzuki Zen's would be poetic in more than one way. For one with the race on for the future, with two major paradigm shifts for the Auto Industry. Zen name which stood for ZERO ENGINE NOISE would fit right with an electric heart. Maruti Suzuki has some aggressive plans, not just the company will ready with its BS-VI compliant fleet ahead of April 2020 deadline at the same time the company will also roll out many new cars.

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Maruti Suzuki Ignis that was launched in 2016 was the last new all-new brand to be launched in India. Post that the company has been launching the new generation of its existing popular brands like Dzire, Swift, Ciaz facelift and going into the 2018 festive season it will launch the all-new 2018 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and then the new 2019 Maruti Suzuki Wagon R in February 2019. While all these are indeed all-new generation cars and developed from scratch, the company has still stuck with the brand names that connect with the masses.

Maruti Suzuki Zen is also likely to make a comeback in an all new avatar. The Zen brand was first launched 15 years ago in 1993 as a hatchback but this time around going with the trends the Zen in all possibility will be a compact SUV or a small crossover. Sources close to the development say that the company has received a good response to the Maruti Suzuki Future S concept and the company is working on developing new small SUVs. Product development is a continuous and long process, the company has not officially confirmed this development and any more details on this is based on pure speculation.

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In the past, Maruti Suzuki has bought back the Baleno brand which is among the top-selling cars in India. Maruti Suzuki Zen has been a popular car among the kids grew up in the late 1990s and who are now the prospective new car buyers. There is a good nostalgic connect with the brand and reviving old brands has always led to a good, profitable business decision. The other theory here is that Maruti Suzuki might add a small SUV to the Alto brand.

This new SUV will take its design inspiration from the Future S concept and will sit below the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and will also be the youngest SUV in the company’s product portfolio. On the lark scheme of things, Maruti Suzuki also now has two sets of dealerships to cater and its partnership with Toyota will also help in rolling out new products rather quickly. Call it the Alto, Zen or a new brand altogether, the new SUV will be future ready with electrification option right from the word go.

The Future S concept has been designed and developed in India at the company’s R&D centre and going with a small SUV design was very obvious. SUVs are in demand and is considered as an ‘aspirational' segment with huge growth potential. The size and the proportion of Future S concept fit well in the Indian market with the tall stance and compact size.

Maruti Suzuki Future SMaruti Suzuki Zen: Pic credit: Abhishek Chalia

There are more reasons for Maruti Suzuki to revive its Zen brand. The car served the company for 16 long years and the also made a come back the Zen Estilo before being discontinued in 2010. Maruti Suzuki Zen was also badged as Alto and was the first Maruti car to be exported to Europe. The company has sold over 7.60 lakh units of its Zen hatch in India and exported over 1.22 lakh units.

Iconic brands that will make a comeback in the Indian market will not just be the Maruti Zen. As early as October 2018, Hyundai Santro will make a comeback in the Indian market that will be followed by Honda Civic. We also expect the Mitsubishi Lancer to return in an SUV form in 2020 and the French Carmaker PSA Group in collaboration with C K Birla group is working on bringing back the mighty Ambassador from Hindustan Motors’ stable.

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