Ciaz, the first successful sedan and premium car experiment of Maruti Suzuki, has touched a milestone of 100,000 units in the domestic market. It has also been giving a competition to Honda City, the most-selling sedan in the above four-metre segment, by overtaking it in two of the first five months this calendar year.
Launched in October 2014, Ciaz broke the jinx of Maruti’s unsuccessful experiments with premium segments such as Kizashi and Grand Vitara. Both these products failed to deliver desired volumes.
“Ciaz started out as an outstanding product in terms of looks, features and the cabin space. With introduction of Ciaz smart hybrid technology and new infotainment features, it has clearly pulled ahead as the best product in its class,” said R S Kalsi, executive director (marketing and sales) at Maruti Suzuki. In May, the company sold 5,188 units of Ciaz to dealers in the domestic market, against 3,305 units of Honda City. In April, Honda City sold only 91 units more than Ciaz at 5,793 units. Ciaz has clocked average monthly sales of 5,400 units in the first five months of 2016, against about 5,500 units of City. Maruti has also managed to ship 18,000 units of Ciaz to export markets since the launch. In September last year, Maruti launched a mild hybrid variant of Ciaz, which also benefitted from lower excise and the government announced cash sops for buyers of hybrid vehicles.
In Delhi, where the state government experimented with two phases of odd-even for private cars, it exempted electric, hybrid and compressed natural gas (CNG) cars. Due to its mild hybrid technology, Ciaz was also exempted.
City, on the other hand, has seen impact of the changing customer preference for petrol cars, Honda had said. The company had said a large chunk of buyers are shifting from diesel to petrol, making it a challenge for the company to adjust production in a short period.
The Supreme Court last December banned sales and registration of diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of 2,000 cubic centrimetre (cc) and above in the National Capital Region, impacting companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota and Mercedes. While the City does not fall under this ban with its 1,500 cc engine, the company said buyers preferred to move to the petrol variant.