The country’s largest passenger car company, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), has stopped the production of the diesel version of its premium hatchback, the Ignis, due to low demand.
The company, which launched the model in January last year, has sold more than 72,000 units so far. The auto maker registered average monthly sales of over 4,500 units of the Ignis during the January-May 2018 period.
When contacted, a Maruti Suzuki spokesperson told PTI: “Maruti Suzuki listens to customers’ demand and accordingly makes efforts to meet their evolving aspirations. Therefore, it is business prudence to keep the number of variants in line with customers’ requirements.”
The Ignis is retailed through the company’s premium Nexa sales channel, and helps Maruti Suzuki in expanding its range and presence, with an eye on the future, the spokesperson added. The Ignis was the third model to be sold through the Nexa dealerships, after the S-Cross and the Baleno.
With the launch of the Ignis, the company consciously tried to shed its image of a small car maker for a typical middle class Indian family. While the Ignis has a spacious cabin and premium quality interiors, including its SmartPlay infotainment system, the steep pricing of the diesel variants (from Rs 6.32 lakh to Rs 8.12 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi) was a deterrent to sales. In addition, there is a noticeable shift in customer preference for petrol vehicles over the years.
The Ignis will now be available only with the 1.2-litre petrol engine mated to either a manual or AMT gearbox. The 1.3-litre diesel versions (both manual and AMT) have been discontinued. The petrol variants are priced between Rs 4.66 lakh and Rs 7.05 lakh.
This year, Maruti Suzuki has two new planned launches—the upgraded Ciaz and the all-new Ertiga.
(With inputs from PTI)