Maruti Suzuki to take on Renault's Kwid

Maruti Suzuki, India's largest car maker, is gearing up to take on Renault's Kwid.

Maruti, which had to face a serious challenge to the Alto in the entry car segment following the launch of Kwid in October last year, is now ready to counter it with premium compact Ignis, which would hit the market on 13 January.

Ignis would retail from Maruti's upmarket Nexa dealer network. The company planned to position the car, which would be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engine, as an urban, premium vehicle targeted at the millennials.

While the company will announce the price of Ignis at its launch, industry analysts estimate, it would be around Rs4 lakh. Baleno, the other compact, which would be retailed from the Nexa channel, carried a price-tag starting at Rs 5.3 lakh. Maruti Suzuki would thus be able to maintain a credible buffer between two products.

Company executives denied that Ignis was an answer to Kwid that had two petrol-engine options - 800cc and 1 litre. They also discount the possibility of migration of potential Alto customers towards Ignis. ''The customer profile is very different. The Ignis has a clear focus on urban young buyers,'' says R S Kalsi, director (sales & marketing) at Maruti, The Economic Times reported. ''As far as Alto is concerned, it is aimed at higher age groups and for those having a family.''

Bookings for the new car, which could be positioned below the Baleno, would start from January first week on the Nexa portal and outlets.

Ignis is being targeted at the urban youth.

Business Standard Kalsi, "The population of millennials has grown over the years in India. They are unique in their approach and consumption pattern. With the Ignis we are targeting them."