Maruti Suzuki is one of the oldest car manufacturers in the Indian market. It has a long history in India and over the years, the brand has launched, discontinued and refreshed its line-up multiple times. This video from 1999, when the first-generation of the Maruti Suzuki WagonR was launched in India. This video brings back the memories from the era when Maruti used to used to offer the Baleno sedan and the good old Zen in the market.
The two-decade-old video shows the latest entrant in the Indian market from the brand in the form of Maruti Suzuki WagonR. The blue colour was the promotion colour of the model. Maruti Suzuki WagonR introduced the tallboy design in the Indian market back then and soon Hyundai launched the Santro to take on the WagonR. Back then, the WagonR came with a 1.1-litre petrol engine and became quite popular in the Indian market.
Apart from the WagonR, the video also shows the Baleno sedan. It was the first premium sedan offered by the brand and was launched in 1999 and was discontinued in 2007. Maruti bought back the Baleno moniker with its first-ever premium hatchback in the Indian market in 2015. Baleno sedan used to be the status symbol in its time. It competed with the Hyundai Accent sedan. The was known for its spacious interiors and extremely smooth engine. It came with a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, 16-valve SOHC engine that generates a maximum of 94 Bhp. It came with Multi Point Fuel Injection system that ensured equal distribution of the fuel in each of the cylinders and an increase in the fuel efficiency. The Baleno was decently popular in the Indian market back in its time. There are still many good examples of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno sedan that can be seen in immaculate condition on the Indian roads.
The third car seen in the video is the Zen Classic. While we all remember the timeless and iconic Zen hatchback, the Zen Classic is a rare breed. It was launched to offer a classy look with the Zen but it failed to become popular in the market. The Zen Classic came with a different, three-pod grille and round headlamps. There was a lot of chrome on it and even the front bumper was made up of shiny steel. It tried offering something retro to the customers but never became as popular as the regular Zen hatchback. The car even had a different interior, which came with chrome bezels to bring back the retro feel to the vehicle.
Currently, Suzuki does not offer the Zen or the Baleno sedan in the Indian market. The Ciaz has taken up the void left by the Baleno sedan, which was earlier replaced by the Maruti Suzuki SX4. Maruti Suzuki is the top manufacturer in India and has over 50% of the market share.