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.
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) .
- Brand value
Now let’s look at the specifics one by one : (fig being approx)
|VENTO (VW)||11 lkh||16-17
|Very high||105 bhp|
|VERNA (HYUNDAI)||12 lkh||16-17
|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.
*( 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,
- 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.