The Maruti Ciaz has done extremely well in sales within the 8 months of launch, clocking a healthy 50,000 units beating the once best seller Hyundai Verna and coming second only to the new Honda City.
Predominantly known as a small car maker, Maruti Suzuki fumbled with high priced cars in the past including the SX4, Baleno, Kizashi and Grand Vitara, and it took a lot of time for the automaker to go back to scratch and develop the Ciaz to address the premium car market. Maruti now seems to have found acceptance in the big league as the Ciaz sedan crossed 50,000 units of sales within eight months of launch. At present, the car retails as the second best selling C-segment sedan ahead of the Hyundai Verna, Skoda Rapid, Volkswagen Vento and the likes while being just behind the segment leader Honda City.
Since its launch in September last year, Maruti Suzuki has retailed over 43,000 units of the Ciaz in the domestic market and 7000 units were exported overseas. With humble beginnings of 1375 units sold in the first month followed by 6345 units sold in October, the C-segment sedan is averaging about 4500 units every month (5012 units sold last month) and Maruti aims to take the numbers up to 5000-5500 units. In contrast, the Honda City does around 7000-8000 units on a monthly basis. The automaker further stated that 65 percent of its customers are existing Maruti owners and have upgraded from the Swift and DZire models.
However, given the history of Maruti and its premium cars, the journey hasn’t been smooth sailing for the company. The SX4 did well on the sales front initially, but Maruti could not retain the same momentum in the long term. However, while the SX4 was derived from a crossover, the Ciaz is built to be a mid-size sedan right from scratch and it is this difference that has brought the biggest change between the two models. Furthermore, an extremely focused and effective marketing campaign has worked for the brand in order to get the initial sales going for the product.
Maruti reportedly spent around Rs. 100 crores over brand Ciaz to create a positive word. In fact, the basic treatment given to customers was dramatically different when compared to other small cars sold by the manufacturer. The automaker employed 800 personnel across its dealerships called ‘Ciaz consultants’, who were brought in from the hospitality industry and offered a completely premium car buying experience to the customer.
These factors have helped Maruti Suzuki break its image of being a small car maker to an extent and the Ciaz’s success has given the company that confidence to set-up the premium Nexa showrooms, which will roll out in the following weeks. These showrooms will then retail the upcoming S-Cross and YRA premium hatchback set for launch later in the year and are aimed at providing a completely different car buying experience that will help the automaker consolidate its position in the premium segment further.
Source – EconomicTimes.com