New Delhi: Maruti Udyog (MUL) has launched its much-awaited compact car Suzuki Swift priced at Rs3.87 lakh (introductory price) for the entry level LXi version and at Rs4.05 lakh and Rs4.85 lakh for the VXi and ZXi versions.
Earlier analysts and industry insiders had expected the Swift to be priced in the Rs4.5-lakh to Rs5-lakh bracket for the base versions. Hence its pricing has come as a pleasant surprise to consumers and undoubtedly an unpleasant one for rival automakers in the price-sensitive Indian market.
At present models competing with the Swift in overall tech specs are priced in a higher bracket - the Hyundai Getz costs Rs4.5 lakh, Ford Fusion is at Rs6 lakh and the Corsa Sail has a tag of Rs4.2 lakh.
Maruti will initially manufacture 200 units of the Swift per day translating into 5,000 cars a month. The Getz' base version sells around 1,100 units a month while the Corsa Sail from General Motors lakh sells around 300 units a month.
The company says the present pricing of the Swift was an "introductory offer." Dealers said the introductory would be on for a minimum of three months and the company would extend it keeping in view the consumer response to the vehicle.
Maruto has taken competition to a higher plane by offering the base model of the Swift with power steering and manual air conditioning, while the most expensive model will have contemporary design safety features like ABS and airbags, powered windows and automatic air-conditioning.
Customers seem to have taken to the Swift with enthusiasm and the company has received 9,000 bookings for the car even before the announcement of the pricing.
Jadgish Khattar managing director of MUL said the company would not face any production constraints, as it would be able to stretch production at its Gurgaon unit to beyond 6,00,000 units if required.
The Swift will be produced at MUL's facilities at Gurgoan with a local content of around 86 per cent. It will be fitted with a 1.3-litre engine, an improvised version of the engine fitted into the three box model Esteem.
The Swift is MUL's first new car launch in nearly five years, all previous launches being variants of existing models.
Delivery of the vehicles is expected to start from the first week of June 2005.
To achieve its sales target of 5000 units a day MUL has groomed a sales team of 1,000 people called Swift energizers' to ensure targets are met.
With the launch of the Swift MUL is trying to retrieve market share lost to Hyundai Motor and Tata Motors and analysts say that with the aggressive pricing its success was likely.