To keep pace with fast changing customer preferences, the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India said that it is ready to demolish traditional categories while challenging itself to create new segments.
The company, which today launched its premium urban compact vehicle IGNIS targeted at the millennials and priced between Rs 4.59 lakh and Rs 7.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), said it is critical that the company was “alive to the present and ready for the future,” retaining the positives from the past.
“We are aware that the life and priorities of our customers are fast evolving. If we have to keep pace, we must demolish traditional categories and think afresh. Just like the customer is thinking,” Maruti Suzuki India Managing Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said here.
He added that it’s been often asked if Maruti Suzuki is shifting focus from its core segments towards premium.
“My response to this question is…the challenging spirit at Maruti Suzuki. We have taken this challenge to create newer segments to fulfil the wishes of our customers,” he said.
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“While we retain the positives from the past, it is more critical that we are alive to the present and ready for the future. This has defined our working style in the last few years as we move towards our medium-term goal of two million unit sales in 2020,” Ayukawa said.
Stating that MSI is further stepping up its game, he said the IGNIS “shatters the existing categories in the Indian car market” and “challenges conventional design and styling.”
The compact car will be available in both petrol and diesel options with auto gear shift feature and will take on Renault’s popular SUV-inspired entry level car KWID.
The petrol version will be powered by a 1.2 litre engine and priced between Rs 4.59 lakh and Rs 6.69 lakh. The diesel variant will have a 1.3 litre engine and the price ranges from Rs 6.39 lakh to Rs 7.8 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Delhi).
The IGNIS is built on a new generation rigid platform embodying Suzuki Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) for occupant protection. The company, along with its suppliers, has invested over Rs 950 crore towards development of the vehicle, which is 98.5 per cent localised.
The new model will be retailed through the company’s premium retail chain Nexa.
In keeping with the preference of target customers — the millenials — the IGNIS is equipped with an infotainment system, which offers smartphone connectivity experience with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay. The model is the first in MSI’s portfolio to offer Android Auto feature.
Reiterating the commitment of parent Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC) to India, he said SMC had committed 20 new models as part of its medium-term plan “Suzuki Next 100”, of these, 15 models will be launched in India in the five years up to 2020.
“In the last 36 months, we have introduced four new models: Ciaz, S-Cross, Baleno and Vitara Brezza…these models were either in a new segment or in a segment where Maruti Suzuki wasn’t a leader,” he said.
While Baleno has become “the symbol of Make In India” and attained leadership in premium hatchback segment, the S-Cross and Vitara Brezza have helped strengthen the company’s position in the UV segment, Ayukawa said.