Maruti Suzuki, the country’s biggest car maker that has a share of over 47 per cent of the passenger vehicles market, expects to inch towards the 50 per cent mark in 2017-18 after operations begin at its Gujarat plant next month and after Friday’s launch of its premium compact car Ignis.
Aimed at young city buyers, the Ignis (petrol) is priced at Rs 4.59 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and will compete with Hyundai’s i10 Grand and Mahindra & Mahindra’s KUV100, which begin at Rs 4.95 lakh and Rs 4.58 lakh, respectively. Hyundai sell more than 12,000 units of i10 Grand a month while KUV100 clocks volume of about 3,000 per month.
The Ignis diesel will begin at a price of Rs 6.39 lakh. The top-end petrol and diesel models are priced at Rs 6.30 lakh and Rs 7.46 lakh, respectively Bookings for Ignis were opened early this month and about 6,000 bookings came before the launch.
Maruti Suzuki’s first launch in 2016-17 has been developed at an investment of over Rs 950 crore and has 98.5 per cent local content. The car will be manufactured at the company’s plant in Gurgaon.
If the success of Maruti Suzuki’s two previous launches — Baleno in September 2015 and Brezza in March 2016 — is an indication, Ignis could be another volume driver. The company has sold over 131,000 Balenos and 80,000 Brezzas in India. Maruti Suzuki sold 1.3 million vehicles in the country in 2015-16 and has set itself a sales target of 2 million vehicles, including exports, by 2020. Commencement of the Gujarat plant will ease capacity constraints the company faces now.
“Ignis combines unconventional design, seamless smartphone experience, auto gear shift, advanced safety features and personalisation options. It will help us expand our presence in the premium compact segment,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and chief executive officer, Maruti Suzuki.
The car will be sold at Nexa showrooms, a distinct sales network to offer buyers a differentiated experience. Ignis will be Nexa’s entry-level car and join the family of S Cross and Baleno. The car has been designed for millennials.