Inside the new car launch : MARUTI SUZUKI CIAZ , here’s what i have to say about it ….

New car launches happen often but there are very few car makers out there who are brave enough to re-launch into a segment that’s been a failure in the past.

Maruti Suzuki is one such ambitious auto giant that has made the bold attempt to re-enter into the Mid – Sedan segment with its new launch, the CIAZ.

Now I’m sure you all know of the feature’s n specs of the car therefore I will quickly brief you about the variant’s in which the car shall be available.

Petrol variant 1.4lt 91bhp   6.99-9.34lkh
Diesel variant 1.3lt 89bhp 8.04-9.8lkh

After following up reviews about the car on various media platforms I pretty do not agree to certain stuff that’s fed to us on these shows / articles new piece’s etc. Some major disagreements are listed and discussed below.

Why did the company even choose to come up with the ciaz (/ keeaz whatever you wish to call it)?

Maruti is known to have lost its battle twice in the mid- size Sedan segment in past with the SX4 and Kijashi. Even at its peak it was selling some 5000 units of Sx4/ month while its competitors were selling around 16000 cars a month. While the Kijashi was discontinued in its second year itself, the SX4 managed to stay for a little longer.

With its launch, the car looked a very promising endeavour but it gradually faded out from the market, reasons being many but the most prominent of all-being the use of SX4 for state managed taxi services in many cities across India. Definitely the people did not want to buy a car which was used as a public taxi service vehicle.

Every car maker from TATA, Toyota to Audi is in a rush to tap the potential of the Mid-Sedan segment. New economic reforms have brought revival of the automobile sector and there’s a race catch up with the increased demand. These have also brought an increased confidence in the markets and clearly maruti wants to take advantage of this boom, re-entering with the CIAZ.

Ideally, Maruti has always dominated the small car segment. With models such as the swift, Ritz, alto, it scoops away a major chunk of customer’s right from under the competitor’s nose. Therefore to get beyond this tag of the perfect small car maker and have its imprint on other segments, maruti chooses the re-launch strategy. Maruti is also known to be coming up soon with an SUV launch that will be competing with the Renault Duster.

Clear enough, The Company’s desperation to make its presence felt in other segments is one of the top reasons for such a bold attempt.

CIAZ is compared with The Volkswagen Vento and Hyundai Verna. Is this a fair comparison?

Before I get into the details,

P.S:- I have considered the popular variant in India i.e. The Diesel variant ( for all cars compared here) and four variables mainly considered before a person buy’s a car for himself ( in the order of their importance) .

They are:

  • Price
  • Mileage
  • Brand value
  • power

Now let’s look at the specifics one by one :     (fig being approx)

MODEL/CAR PRICE MILEAGE BRAND VAL POWER
VENTO (VW) 11 lkh 16-17

(22-23 claimed)

Very high 105 bhp
VERNA (HYUNDAI) 12 lkh 16-17

(22 claimed)

High 90/128 bhp
CIAZ 10 lkh 23-24(claimed) Moderate (segment specific) 89 bhp

*The mileage figures claimed for every car are always in perfect driving conditions, which generally never happen while real life usage and especially not in Indian Driving condition*. Therefore claimed and delivered mileage figures are mentioned clear and separate.

The kings of mid sedan segment clearly are the Volkswagen vento and Hyundai verna , some consider Honda city diesel to be the bestseller but I doubt that. The caris an absolute disappointment as far as the diesel variant goes.

This comparison with the best-sellers which are clearly more powerful, more expensive and have a higher brand value as compared to Ciaz is unfair. According to me, the car should be compared with: Nissan’s Sunny, Fiat Linea, and Ford Fiesta 2014.

All these car’s line up in same price category ( around 10lkh) , enjoy a similar brand resonance and value and are at par with each other in terms of engine power ( between 85-95bhp) , fuel consumption (23-24 ideal )and other features are also similar.

 

MODEL/CAR PRICE MILEAGE BRAND VALUE POWER
Nissan Sunny 10lkh 21-22kmpl moderate 96bhp
Fiat Linea 10lkh 20-21kmpl Good 93bhp
Ford Fiesta

2014

10lkh 20-21kmpl moderate 91 bhp
Maruti Ciaz 10lkh 22-24kmpl moderate 89bhp

*( above mentioned Figures being approx )*

Maruti claims the mileage for Ciaz to be somewhere around 22-24kmpl, however it should fall between 18-19kmpl since we do not drive in ideal driving conditions. Also the car will by default enjoy a higher mileage because it is underpowered as compared to the vento / verna, therefore again this comparison cannot be fair.

Coming to the last and most important point,

  1. Will this car be successful or yet another failure for maruti in the mid-sedan segment?

Although the company boast’s of an advance booking for 3000 units, CIAZ could face a fate similar to its predecessors, which were also hits right after the launch.

Customers today are more tech-savvy and informed and have access to higher and more competitive products, therefore with the presence of technologically high – end products such as the VW-Vento or Verna, Maruti should expect a tough time ahead trying to establish itself in this segment. The car does not have any Fancy; neither necessary technical feature that makes it outstand and become a hit with the people.

Now given the Indian buyer mentality, the high mileage factor should be one of the top reasons for a high response after the launch but will this buying phenomena become a trend is tough to answer.

With various reasons such as

  • being technologically incompetent ( for ex the new Vento comes with a 7speed DSG , which by the way no other car has in its segment)
  • poor looks ( looks more of a cross breed of sx4 and Kijashi , nothing new even here)
  • having competitors that are higher on safety and comfort
  • Competitors with higher brand value / image / resonance etc, the future for CIAZ does not look very promising to me.

 

The major drawback seems to be its incompetent features and technology. Therefore I really doubt if this car is going to perform as expected. So with the presence buying options that get an upper hand in all of the above mentioned factors I would say one last thing

Forget all technology, features etc for a second and think about this, but “will you want to buy a car that doesn’t even look good??

I don’t think so.

 

 

people ? why people ? okay, again …. a whole lot of people !

people-02

I have been a “not a people’s person” for long. More of a reflective type and inclined to knowing the unknown, I’ve never really found pleasure in life’s mundane. I’d rather dig deeper into my own subconscious. What makes people’s behaviour may not have been a priority until it came naturally to me. Life always exposes you to the necessary, maybe this is a step to understanding its mystery.

No! I am not anti social but neither social. For me a small party of weird people serves well than a big herd of bovines.

I still wasn’t really used to interacting with everybody I’d meet till moving to a new city happened to me. My life is exposed to a new dimension, no I am not vulnerable but I’m accepting towards change. Probably I became more intelligent or I just discovered some latent powers.

For me, neither an introvert nor extrovert but hanging somewhere in the mid, meeting people is like the vicious cycle of life and death. I don’t like crowds but I neither hate people.

I think that now I better understand the types of people and their significance in my life. We all know of the sweet as sugar person who always leaves with a sour taste in our mouth. There will be people who tag you “devil worshipper”, dare not confine to their beliefs. But there will also be people who speak the truth, they are often misunderstood.

A few are the dormant volcanoes; you don’t fool around with them, do you? Scoffing is a favourite of every next idiot trying to prove his point; nobody give’s ears to them. There will also be people-the know it all type, great annoyance to those really who do while some just never arouse your “interest cells”, but we were taught ignoring is rude!

Don’t forget the “oh so social type”; always complaining a lack of time. Some are like the empty vessels which make much a sound and others the mindless few. They walk your walk and talk your talk.

Finally the type I really admire; the listener’s, Hard to find and much to value.

They all have played a significant role in transforming me to who I am today. Strong, patient, understanding -just a few keywords, I have become much more. I think I adore the fact that I’ve developed a tolerance for them all. I see myself become non judgemental, intuitive and balanced. This is not a super power of some kind, just a stronger and controlled mind maybe.

I stay thankful for meeting them, they all are great teachers and they helped me grow. It’s like Tuition without a tuition fee!

I would still not say I love meeting people, but I respect the fact it has turned me into an observer.

It’s like reading a book, not judging it by its cover.

Silence is beautiful, not always you need a conversation to know someone.

Body speaks; the eyes reflect the soul and the actions speak louder than words. Sometimes that’s all you need to understand someone.

It kind of makes me feel in possession of a supernatural power to be able see others aura. Maybe Someday I’d be able to do that but till then observance serves me well.

* image courtesy google images

Echoes of potala

ladakh

Imagine walking on an ancient road of a bustling market, making your way through crowds of avid sightseers and pilgrims. Farmers, Nobel men from lands far off, herdsmen, traders and the sick seeking cure in Lhasa. Ahead is that which is standing proud, the magnificent Potala palace. A self contained township on the hill top, abode of the Dalai Lama. This stately home is also the church and parliament of Tibet, it’s the living heart of the city; focus of all thoughts and hopes. Hidden within its walls is a treasure house of gold, gems and curiosities age old. On the walls hang rich tapestries, depicting religious scenes and ancient legends.

As you walk towards the far end of a long room you see the “Inmost one”, the 13th Dalai Lama sitting on a silken cushion of saffron colour and somewhere from distance comes the sounds of the prayers of the monks, almost a whispering “ohm Mani padme hum”.

Now imagine a war, houses turning to dust. Hundreds of harmless people killed. Hear the cries of innocent men and women, the sobbing of a hopeless mother with her dead child in her lap. Feel the torture inflicted on them, the ripping of flesh with a roll of the whip, the oozing of blood and breaking of bones. Lhasa is looted of its wealth and the sacred writs of a kind, thrown out of their homeland its people still vain.

So much the horrors of Tibet’s suffering, its echoes still reverberating strong in me.

It maybe history but it still causes me grief, why I feel so I’ll tell you in brief. I feel the hurt, anger and pain; you may call it empathy, past life’s connection or something else.

History stands witness to doom of nations so meek. They have pleaded for help, who heard them is the question indeed!

Are we so full of ourselves or are we blind or are we so inhuman to ignore their plight? Cannot we stand together for Tibet?

The world is but a one big family and isn’t it what a family is for?