You are here: Home » Specials » Brand-W
Business Standard

Maruti rides the millennial track with Ignis

With Ignis, the auto maker joins a growing list of companies trying to woo the demographic

Ajay Modi  |  New Delhi 

Maruti Ignis
Maruti Ignis

For a year and more now, Indian car makers have been pitching their cars to the urban young. Early last year M&M launched its first compact vehicle KUV as a ‘young SUV’, showcased the as a car for urban young and now is doing the same with The generation that universally prefers an Uber-Ola ride to cars has auto makers in thrall and; their preferences are redefining the way companies position their brands. The challenge however is keeping in step with the swiftly changing tastes and purchasing behaviour of this category.
 
In the past, an auto company would pitch a sedan or a hatchback or a premium hatchback, focusing on price, space and capacity. Not too long ago, cars were sold according to the number of people it could seat or how fast it could go from point A to B. While the labels are still the same, the brand communication has shifted to appeal to the specific design sensibilities of the urban young. India managing director Arun Malhotra said the company’s research showed that today’s youth are looking for something that defines their personality. Many are upgrading from a motorcycle to a small car thanks to higher earnings. “Most young car buyers desire something that has attractive styling, good mileage, peppy performance, and ample space in a package that provides good value-for-money,” he adds. When the Japanese car maker launched the under its brand last year in June, it promoted the car as one that had been uniquely designed for the urban youth. The campaign was tailored accordingly with several Bollywood singers and musicians belting out a catchy tune and the company appealing to what it called the ‘young risers’ in the country. It has recently signed Sakshi Malik, Olympic bronze medalist, as its ambassador too.


 
Clearly,  a need is now being felt to distinctly position cars for this specific age group. SUV maker M&M called its first compact vehicle KUV a ‘young SUV’ at its launch early last year. It said, at the time of the launch, the youth want a SUV that helps them ‘stand out’, reflects their ‘personality’ and enhances their ‘lifestyle’. Varun Dhawan, a young Bollywood actor was chosen as brand ambassador. The design of the car, with a sculpted bonnet and muscular body lines was meant to appeal to the young as was its pricing of Rs 4.42 lakh (ex-showroom).
 
Suzuki’s next launch, Ignis, has also been designed for the same demographic, for those born in the late 1980s and ’90s. The company has branded it as the car for ‘millennials’ or the under-29s. “Millennials desire to make a difference and want to stand out on the basis of the choices they make,” said R S Kalsi, executive director (marketing & sales), Suzuki explaining the category of consumers he is trying to reach with the new car.
 
Kalsi said research backs the company’s focus on millennials. Car purchases by this age group have grown by 23 per cent in the last six years he said. Interestingly, this segment accounted for just about one-fifth of the purchases six years ago but now forms more than 27 per cent of car buyers. No wonder then that companies have their eyes set on their potential.
 
However, as many customer behaviour surveys indicate, the millennials are not an easy bunch to please. They are not loyal to brands and look for an engagement that goes beyond the product and its capabilities. They are also easily turned off a brand if it finds that promise does not match performance on the ground. says that it has worked hard to understand these buyers. There is no car brand that is talking to this segment, according to Kalsi. And that is what has led to branding as the country’s ‘first vehicle for the millennial generation’. This will be their first car although not the first car in their homes, he said.
 
Kalsi said that close to 41 per cent of the population is under 20 years and Maruti’s research showed that they are looking for design, premium-ness and quality. For them, the car is an extension of their personality and therefore it has to go beyond being a functional product. The generation is not ready to make any compromises on aspirations and wants safety, features and technology in the vehicle he added.
 
The purchase behaviour of this segment is different too. They engage deeply with online channels before deciding on the car they want and their mind is completely made up before they walk into the dealership. “They (the millennials) are looking for a unique buying experience,” Kalsi said.
 
Suzuki has decided to launch through its Nexa showrooms that were set up in 2015 as a distinct sales network to offer buyers a differentiated experience. (expected to begin at a price point of around Rs 5 lakh) will be Nexa’s entry level car. The company has also been trying to create a buzz online, the chatter having begun weeks before the actual launch. Bookings were opened on the Nexa website from January 1 and the company claims that it already has people signing up for a waiting period of more than four weeks.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Maruti rides the millennial track with Ignis

With Ignis, the auto maker joins a growing list of companies trying to woo the demographic

With Ignis, the auto maker joins a growing list of companies trying to woo the demographic For a year and more now, Indian car makers have been pitching their cars to the urban young. Early last year M&M launched its first compact vehicle KUV as a ‘young SUV’, showcased the as a car for urban young and now is doing the same with The generation that universally prefers an Uber-Ola ride to cars has auto makers in thrall and; their preferences are redefining the way companies position their brands. The challenge however is keeping in step with the swiftly changing tastes and purchasing behaviour of this category.
 
In the past, an auto company would pitch a sedan or a hatchback or a premium hatchback, focusing on price, space and capacity. Not too long ago, cars were sold according to the number of people it could seat or how fast it could go from point A to B. While the labels are still the same, the brand communication has shifted to appeal to the specific design sensibilities of the urban young. India managing director Arun Malhotra said the company’s research showed that today’s youth are looking for something that defines their personality. Many are upgrading from a motorcycle to a small car thanks to higher earnings. “Most young car buyers desire something that has attractive styling, good mileage, peppy performance, and ample space in a package that provides good value-for-money,” he adds. When the Japanese car maker launched the under its brand last year in June, it promoted the car as one that had been uniquely designed for the urban youth. The campaign was tailored accordingly with several Bollywood singers and musicians belting out a catchy tune and the company appealing to what it called the ‘young risers’ in the country. It has recently signed Sakshi Malik, Olympic bronze medalist, as its ambassador too.
 
Clearly,  a need is now being felt to distinctly position cars for this specific age group. SUV maker M&M called its first compact vehicle KUV a ‘young SUV’ at its launch early last year. It said, at the time of the launch, the youth want a SUV that helps them ‘stand out’, reflects their ‘personality’ and enhances their ‘lifestyle’. Varun Dhawan, a young Bollywood actor was chosen as brand ambassador. The design of the car, with a sculpted bonnet and muscular body lines was meant to appeal to the young as was its pricing of Rs 4.42 lakh (ex-showroom).
 
Suzuki’s next launch, Ignis, has also been designed for the same demographic, for those born in the late 1980s and ’90s. The company has branded it as the car for ‘millennials’ or the under-29s. “Millennials desire to make a difference and want to stand out on the basis of the choices they make,” said R S Kalsi, executive director (marketing & sales), Suzuki explaining the category of consumers he is trying to reach with the new car.
 
Kalsi said research backs the company’s focus on millennials. Car purchases by this age group have grown by 23 per cent in the last six years he said. Interestingly, this segment accounted for just about one-fifth of the purchases six years ago but now forms more than 27 per cent of car buyers. No wonder then that companies have their eyes set on their potential.
 
However, as many customer behaviour surveys indicate, the millennials are not an easy bunch to please. They are not loyal to brands and look for an engagement that goes beyond the product and its capabilities. They are also easily turned off a brand if it finds that promise does not match performance on the ground. says that it has worked hard to understand these buyers. There is no car brand that is talking to this segment, according to Kalsi. And that is what has led to branding as the country’s ‘first vehicle for the millennial generation’. This will be their first car although not the first car in their homes, he said.
 
Kalsi said that close to 41 per cent of the population is under 20 years and Maruti’s research showed that they are looking for design, premium-ness and quality. For them, the car is an extension of their personality and therefore it has to go beyond being a functional product. The generation is not ready to make any compromises on aspirations and wants safety, features and technology in the vehicle he added.
 
The purchase behaviour of this segment is different too. They engage deeply with online channels before deciding on the car they want and their mind is completely made up before they walk into the dealership. “They (the millennials) are looking for a unique buying experience,” Kalsi said.
 
Suzuki has decided to launch through its Nexa showrooms that were set up in 2015 as a distinct sales network to offer buyers a differentiated experience. (expected to begin at a price point of around Rs 5 lakh) will be Nexa’s entry level car. The company has also been trying to create a buzz online, the chatter having begun weeks before the actual launch. Bookings were opened on the Nexa website from January 1 and the company claims that it already has people signing up for a waiting period of more than four weeks.
image
Business Standard
177 22

Maruti rides the millennial track with Ignis

With Ignis, the auto maker joins a growing list of companies trying to woo the demographic

For a year and more now, Indian car makers have been pitching their cars to the urban young. Early last year M&M launched its first compact vehicle KUV as a ‘young SUV’, showcased the as a car for urban young and now is doing the same with The generation that universally prefers an Uber-Ola ride to cars has auto makers in thrall and; their preferences are redefining the way companies position their brands. The challenge however is keeping in step with the swiftly changing tastes and purchasing behaviour of this category.
 
In the past, an auto company would pitch a sedan or a hatchback or a premium hatchback, focusing on price, space and capacity. Not too long ago, cars were sold according to the number of people it could seat or how fast it could go from point A to B. While the labels are still the same, the brand communication has shifted to appeal to the specific design sensibilities of the urban young. India managing director Arun Malhotra said the company’s research showed that today’s youth are looking for something that defines their personality. Many are upgrading from a motorcycle to a small car thanks to higher earnings. “Most young car buyers desire something that has attractive styling, good mileage, peppy performance, and ample space in a package that provides good value-for-money,” he adds. When the Japanese car maker launched the under its brand last year in June, it promoted the car as one that had been uniquely designed for the urban youth. The campaign was tailored accordingly with several Bollywood singers and musicians belting out a catchy tune and the company appealing to what it called the ‘young risers’ in the country. It has recently signed Sakshi Malik, Olympic bronze medalist, as its ambassador too.
 
Clearly,  a need is now being felt to distinctly position cars for this specific age group. SUV maker M&M called its first compact vehicle KUV a ‘young SUV’ at its launch early last year. It said, at the time of the launch, the youth want a SUV that helps them ‘stand out’, reflects their ‘personality’ and enhances their ‘lifestyle’. Varun Dhawan, a young Bollywood actor was chosen as brand ambassador. The design of the car, with a sculpted bonnet and muscular body lines was meant to appeal to the young as was its pricing of Rs 4.42 lakh (ex-showroom).
 
Suzuki’s next launch, Ignis, has also been designed for the same demographic, for those born in the late 1980s and ’90s. The company has branded it as the car for ‘millennials’ or the under-29s. “Millennials desire to make a difference and want to stand out on the basis of the choices they make,” said R S Kalsi, executive director (marketing & sales), Suzuki explaining the category of consumers he is trying to reach with the new car.
 
Kalsi said research backs the company’s focus on millennials. Car purchases by this age group have grown by 23 per cent in the last six years he said. Interestingly, this segment accounted for just about one-fifth of the purchases six years ago but now forms more than 27 per cent of car buyers. No wonder then that companies have their eyes set on their potential.
 
However, as many customer behaviour surveys indicate, the millennials are not an easy bunch to please. They are not loyal to brands and look for an engagement that goes beyond the product and its capabilities. They are also easily turned off a brand if it finds that promise does not match performance on the ground. says that it has worked hard to understand these buyers. There is no car brand that is talking to this segment, according to Kalsi. And that is what has led to branding as the country’s ‘first vehicle for the millennial generation’. This will be their first car although not the first car in their homes, he said.
 
Kalsi said that close to 41 per cent of the population is under 20 years and Maruti’s research showed that they are looking for design, premium-ness and quality. For them, the car is an extension of their personality and therefore it has to go beyond being a functional product. The generation is not ready to make any compromises on aspirations and wants safety, features and technology in the vehicle he added.
 
The purchase behaviour of this segment is different too. They engage deeply with online channels before deciding on the car they want and their mind is completely made up before they walk into the dealership. “They (the millennials) are looking for a unique buying experience,” Kalsi said.
 
Suzuki has decided to launch through its Nexa showrooms that were set up in 2015 as a distinct sales network to offer buyers a differentiated experience. (expected to begin at a price point of around Rs 5 lakh) will be Nexa’s entry level car. The company has also been trying to create a buzz online, the chatter having begun weeks before the actual launch. Bookings were opened on the Nexa website from January 1 and the company claims that it already has people signing up for a waiting period of more than four weeks.

image
Business Standard
177 22