The Ciaz, which was launched in October 2014, has not only managed to carve its own space in a segment which was completely dominated by the City earlier, but is now also surpassing the City in terms of sales.
Honda’s fourth-generation City, which was launched in January 2014, recently crossed sales of 200,000 units in India. For many years now, the City has been by far the easiest, most practical choice for the Indian midsize sedan buyer, and thus the market leader as well.
However, even as the latest iteration of the Japanese sedan is touted as the best yet, domestic sales for the car have been slowing down of late due to stiff competition from a rival from the Maruti Suzuki stable.
The Ciaz, which was launched in October 2014, has not only managed to carve its own space in a segment which was completely dominated by the City earlier, but is now also surpassing the City in terms of sales. The Ciaz is Maruti’s first serious attempt to capture the midsize segment after its previous attempts in the form of SX4 and the Baleno yielded little results.
Armed with an aggressive price-tag and an even more aggressive marketing strategy, the Ciaz has not only dented the City’s market share but also helped expand the overall segment as well.
Since its launch till August 2016, Maruti Suzuki has sold a total of 111,648 units of the Ciaz, which works out to an average of nearly 5,100 units a month. This is lower when compared to the City’s average monthly sales of 6,400 units, but the tide is in the Ciaz’s favour now as Maruti has kept the sedan more desirable with frequent upgrades and more variants.
Thus far in this fiscal, the Ciaz has managed to outsell the City by a good margin. In the April-August 2016 period, Maruti Suzuki has reported sales of 25,066 units of the Ciaz against Honda’s reported sales of 21,251 units for the City.
A major price difference (nearly Rs 2 lakh), more variants on offer (including a mild hybrid) and comparatively lower maintenance costs seem to have done the trick for the Ciaz, as it has managed to crack the premium segment for Maruti which, before the Ciaz’s launch, was only deemed as a mass-market player.
However, the race is still on as Honda is planning a mid-cycle refresh for the City which might hit the Indian market sometime next year. As has been the case with all previous versions, it should be well received by Indian buyers.
So expect Maruti to bring a facelift for the Ciaz as well, albeit much later in the year. All in all, it seems like exciting times ahead for the midsize segment in India as it would continue to grow in the coming months.
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