Maruti Suzuki has emerged as a formidable player in the midsize sedan segment seven months after it launched the Ciaz, which is seeing sales of 4,500-5,000 units a month.
The company has beaten all other products by competitors in the segment, bar the Honda City, with total sales of 32,349 units during October-March of FY16.
Last month, Ciaz sales touched 5,012 units, significantly higher than that of the Hyundai Verna, Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Polo. As a result, the Ciaz and the City are the only two models managing to draw volumes in the mid-size segment.
Maruti has always desired a pie of the mid-size sedan segment, but its efforts with the SX4 did not yield results. Analysts say that apart from making a good product, Maruti has leveraged its 1,500-strong dealer network to make the Ciaz a success.
A Maruti Suzuki spokesperson said that customers in the mid-size sedan market now have a choice after the City.
“Ciaz was designed keeping in mind the aspirations of a mid-size premium sedan customer. We are happy customers are appreciating the offering and it is fast emerging as a popular choice in the premium sedan segment. Ciaz is a complete package which offers European styling, premium rich interiors and a host of upmarket features,” added the spokesperson.
Analysts say the timing of the Ciaz launch was a masterstroke — most established products in the segment are at the end of their lifecycle and awaiting a facelift. Hyundai may launch a new variant of the Verna in FY 16 while the Rapid and the Vento have been less than average.
“The success of Ciaz can be attributed to the penetration Maruti has in the domestic market. Besides, Ciaz is an extremely competitive product in terms of price and the technology available. Maruti’s loyal customers also contributed to the success,” said Amit Kaushik, associate director, IHS Automotive.