Maruti Suzuki is set to launch the Ignis on January 13 and by the looks of it, the car is already on its way to being a success. To understand why we need to go back a few years.
Maruti Suzuki has been India’s leading car manufacturer in terms of sales for ages and that’s largely because of the fact that the company makes cars that do their job well and that too at an affordable price. This makes them good value for money offerings. These cars have been the likes of the Maruti 800, Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Alto – which have decent build quality and is backed by one of the largest sales and dealership network in the country. These cars, in a way, are a ‘safe purchase’ as they are easy to maintain and have a good resale value when you sell them.
But over the years, the market has evolved. The number of people that own cars today are a lot higher than 10 years ago, and so is the number of people who are willing to trade expected resale value 5-7 years down the line for a good driving experience during their ownership period. Such cars are mostly targeted at the younger market as they are willing to go the distance.
The requirement for such a car is good looks, a long list of features and an ‘image’ that promises to set the owner apart from the crowd. Fast forward to a couple of years ago and there were efforts to make the Maruti Suzuki cars a bit more than just a ‘safe purchase’.
This gave birth to Maruti’s Nexa Experience that promised to give you a better customer experience than, well, other Maruti Suzuki dealerships.
And if we look at the last few cars that company have launched – the Ciaz, Baleno and the Brezza (and if we ignore the S-Cross) then it does not take an expert see the difference. These cars had a flair of personality to themselves and were leagues ahead of their older siblings.
The company was also bringing in technologies like automated manual transmission, called AGS, in affordable cars like the Celerio and the Alto K10. Then there were the Hybrids with SHVS technology that was fitted in the likes of the Ertiga and Ciaz, giving a boost to the company’s strongest suit – mileage.
The recipe seems to be spot on for the making of a hit. The company is targeting the millennials and sports an all-new design language. It has strong curves across the body that is complimented by flared wheel arches and bold projector headlamps with daytime running lights – giving it a subtly aggressive personality. Yes, looks are subjective but the car will turn heads wherever it goes. The reason? Because it stands apart from the large array of hatchbacks on sale right now.
The story continues on the inside as well. The Ignis will have dual-tone interiors with a large touchscreen infotainment display that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The air condition controls have a bit of a classic touch to it as they are toggle switches instead of the same old dial. As for safety, it will have dual front airbags, ABS and EBD and to top it off, it is expected to get an automatic transmission variant as well.
The Ignis has got itself a kickstart too, as Maruti Suzuki commenced the bookings for the car on their Nexa website from January 1 for a sum of Rs 11,000. Within 9 days there is a waiting period of 4 weeks already, that’s almost a two month waiting period even before the car, let alone the pricing of the car, has been launched. It’s been talked about so much on social media platforms that Twitter gave the Ignis its very own emoji.
So that’s all the boxes checked so far. But the biggest criteria and something that we almost take for granted when it comes to Maruti Suzuki has to be competitive pricing. The company has said that the car will be an entry-level Nexa product, which means that it will sit below the Baleno and the S-Cross.
The expected price of the car is Rs 5-7 lakh (ex-showroom) and if the company manages to keep it within this bracket, then they have a winner on their hands.
There are just two things left to find out now – the price and the drive experience of the car. Watch this space for updates.