How the Maruti Ciaz became a top-selling premium sedan

Maruti launched the Ciaz in October 2014 to give the City a run for its money. While it was a good value for money proposition, it couldn’t really beat the City initially. But the launch of the mild hybrid version changed all that. Ciaz has topped City in monthly sales for 7 months out of the past 12 months. Here’s how it all panned out.

So how did it happen?

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When the Ciaz was first introduced, it was a good value proposition but the City had too strong a brand name for loyal customers to shift over. Both were introduced in 2014. While the City sold over 6500 units a month, the Ciaz struggled to reach such levels. While Maruti were selling adequate numbers, it wasn’t enough to beat the mighty City.

Then, in September 2015, Maruti introduced the hybrid version of the Ciaz. Yes, it is a mild-hybrid system. It has a generator (ISG) which helps assist the vehicle while it is driving.  The generator is fed by a larger battery, which gets its juice via heat lost during braking, i.e., regenerative braking. While it is only a mild-hybrid, it did help the car in a lot of ways.

One, it managed to help reduce the price of the car. Since it is a hybrid, it is covered under the NEMMP (National Electric Mobility Mission Plan), which means it gets a reduction in excise duty from 24% to 12.5 %. This results is a huge price drop. Under FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid and Electric vehicles), it managed to save another Rs 29,000. This resulted in a massive price cut which made it more affordable than the City.

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Another advantage this gave the car was the ommision from odd-even rule that Delhi saw. Since we are talking about saving the environment, another place where the Ciaz hybrid managed to out do its competition is in the mileage department, returning 28.09 km/l according to ARAI figures.

All the above added to Ciaz original proposition of loads of space, good drivability and refined experience.

Sales

Here is the turning point where people started considering the Ciaz as an alternative to the City. Since the time the Hybrid Ciaz launched, it has sold 94,134 units compared to the City which has sold 95725 units. However, the sales numbers for the past 12 months tell a different story: Ciaz has zoomed ahead of City with sales of over 59,000 units compared to just 51,000 for City.

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The City had been a leader ever since it was introduced. It suffered minor blips when Hyundai Verna was launched and for a brief period after Volkswagen Vento hit the market. But no one has been able wrest its crown for prolonged period till Ciaz came along. And Ciaz  has a lot going for it, something that is reflected in the sales figures as well.

Why are people opting for the Ciaz

  1. Great value–the biggest car in the segment, at an attractive price.
  2. Maruti name: Finally Maruti has a worthy contender in the sedan segment. Now that the product is good, the Maruti brand name helps to increase sales, thanks to their far reach in terms of sales and after sales.
  3. Kitna deti hai? The Ciaz, with its SHVS system returns 28.09 kmpl, something that none of its competitors can match.
  4. Cheaper to maintain.