The third generation Dzire — a compact sedan — launched by Maruti Suzuki in mid-May this year is set become the first car to register 1 lakh units within just five months of hitting the market. Already an established product in the compact sedan segment for more than a decade, the new version of the Dzire has also hit the ground running and has a waiting period of eight weeks. In the first six months of the fiscal (April to September), the company sold 88,641 units of the new Dzire. In September, the wholesale volumes of the vehicle stood at 30,000 units, while the same in August was 26,000 units in the domestic market. The success of Dzire can also be attributed to lack of competition in the compact sedan segment. Tata Motors launched the Tigor — its second compact sedan after Zest — in the same segment, but the vehicle could not live up to expectations and has report total volumes of just 12,215 units in the April-August period.
In August the wholesale volumes stood at only 2,103 units. Other products like a Volkswagen Ameo, Honda Amaze or a Ford Aspire are not in a position to give any competition to the new Dzire in terms of volumes. According to RS Kalsi, senior executive director (sales and marketing) Maruti Suzuki, over 50% of buyers have opted for Dzire as their first car purchase which is a substantial jump from below 30% about two years ago. The compact sedan segment in the first six months of the current fiscal has grown by only 4.6% y-o-y, while the new Dzire has increased its volumes by 10.5%.
“Like a category leader, it has not only expanded share of Maruti Suzuki in the A3 segment, but also expanded the industry’s A3 segment pie. Dzire, specially created for India, has been one of the most popular brands ever in the Indian automobile industry. Now we have designed a whole new Dzire for sedan customers,” Kalsi added. The new Dzire also boasts of the auto gear shift (AGS) technology which has been introduced by Maruti in many of its products. Apart from being a superior product, over-expectations production ramp-up in the Gujarat plant also gave Maruti the room to push more units of the Dzire in the market during the festive months.
At the beginning of the fiscal the carmaker was expected to make 10,000-12,000 units of its premium hatchback Baleno from the Gujarat plant — operations started in February —while in August, the company had manufactured 20,427 units. “Dzire was already a popular product and the new version has been well accepted going by the bookings it received. Besides that the shifting of Baleno production to Gujarat and the fast capacity ramp-up has helped the company immensely. Also, there is no competition for the Dzire at the moment in the compact sedan segment,” said an analyst with a foreign equity brokerage firm.