Maruti targets 'loyal customers' to push Ciaz sales

Maruti Suzuki India Limited, the country's top car maker, is planning to tap into its 'loyal' customer base to accelerate sales of its newly-launched mid-sized sedan Ciaz, according to Partho Banerjee, vice-president (dealer development).

"We have more than 1.5 million loyal customers who are looking to upgrade from the A3- segment (compact sedan in which it has Swift Dzire) to the A3+ segment (Ciaz). Ciaz, the first authentic sedan coming out of our stable, is going to fulfil their expectations," he told mediapersons.

Launching Ciaz in the Hyderabad market on Monday, Banerjee said the new mid-sized sedan was positioned to take on competition like Honda City and Hyundai Verna, head on. The market size of the A3+ segment is estimated to be 16,000 units a month. The segment accounts for between 17 per cent and 18 per cent of the total A3 market in India.

Ciaz is powered by K14B VVT petrol and DDiS200 diesel engines. The petrol variants of Ciaz are priced between Rs 7.34 lakh and Rs 8.97 lakh (ex-showroom, Hyderabad), while the diesel variants are tagged between Rs 8.41 lakh and Rs 10.20 lakh. Ciaz is also offered with two automatic transmission petrol variants for between Rs 9.03 lakh and Rs 9.73 lakh.

"We will see how the market responds and then take a call on whether to roll out automatic transmission diesel variants," he said, adding that Ciaz had already crossed 10,000 pre-bookings. "Ciaz has a delivery waiting period of eight to 12 months. Our intention, however, is to serve our customers as quickly as possible."

On the company's focus on the rural markets, where over 50 per cent of its 1,400 sales outlets are located, Banerjee said the upcountry markets were the ones that were giving Maruti Suzuki the growth. "Our objective is to move closer to the customers and serve them. So, we plan to open sales points in rural areas where there is a potential of selling even 10 cars," he said.