labels: automotive, maruti udyog, marketing - general
Maruti plans to launch a competitor to the Honda Civic news
27 August 2007

New Delhi: After taking initial steps to compete with the runaway success of Honda City through its latest sedan SX4, Maruti Udyog, the country''s largest car company is planning to launch an even bigger car by 2009-10, which will take on the likes of the Honda Civic.

Moreover, after almost a decade and a half, the company will drive into the sunset one of its oldest and most successful models, the Esteem. The entry level sedan will be replaced by a sedan version of the runaway success ''Swift'', sometime next year.

According to sources, MUL has sounded its vendors to gear up to supply components for its big car project. MUL is also scheduled to launch a new compact car in 2009 that would mainly cater to the European market, but plans are afoot for its launch it in the domestic market as well.

According to industry sources, the ''big car'' from MUL''s stable will compete with cars in the A4 segment, which comprises the likes of Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Skoda Octavia Rider which come in a price bracket of Rs10-12 lakh.

MUL''s plan to go to the next level is buoyed by the success of its latest offering, the SX4 sedan, which has successfully made a dent in the segment that was led by Honda''s City. The big car foray is also in step with global plans of Maruti''s parent company, Suzuki Motor Corp, which is seeking an image makeover from a successful small car maker to a car company with competence in bigger cars as well.

After 13 years of the launch of the Esteem, MUL has decided it is time to bring the curtains down on the Esteem. The new Swift sedan, which is expected in replacement is likely to have both petrol and diesel engine variants, in keeping with MUL''s diesel strategy.

Esteem owners can rest easy, as the company would continue to provide service support the model, as it had done in the past with other models that have been phased out.

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Maruti plans to launch a competitor to the Honda Civic