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Maruti to launch 3rd-gen Dzire, seeks to revive compact sedan segment

New Delhi: Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is seeking to revive growth in compact sedan segment in the country with the launch of its third generation Dzire next month.

The company, which has till date sold 13.81 lakh units of the model in India since its launch in March 2008, will roll out an all-new version of Dzire on May 16.

The sub-four metre compact sedan segment has witnessed decline in sales. In 2016-17, it clocked 4,02,608 units as against 4,40,735 units in 2015-16, down 8.65 per cent.

MSI’s Dzire sales declined by 14.67 per cent at 1,99,878 units in financial year 2016-17 as against 2,34,242 units in the previous year. Despite the decline, the model accounted for 50 per cent of the total sales in the segment.

“Due to capacity constraints we had to adjust production of certain models, including Dzire, in order to reduce long waiting period of models like Baleno and Vitara Brezza,” MSI Executive Director Sales and Marketing RS Kalsi told reporters here.

With additional capacity of 1.5 lakh units available for this fiscal from Suzuki’s Gujarat plant, he said the pressure will ease and it will benefit models like Dzire.

“We have 50 per cent market share in the compact sedan segment where Dzire is present and with the launch of next generation edition we are looking to maintain the sales momentum,” Kalsi said.

Last week, rival Hyundai Motors India had also launched an upgraded version of Xcent that competes with Dzire. Tata Motors has also introduced its Tigor.

Besides these, the new Dzire will also compete with Honda Amaze, Ford Aspire and Volkswagen Ameo. These models are priced in the range of Rs 4.7 lakh to Rs 8.41 lakh.

“Inspite of the competition we have been doing the numbers (for Dzire). We are sure that with the new edition we are going to surpass the earlier numbers and would also certainly help the market grow,” Kalsi said.

Commenting on the upcoming model, MSI Executive Director R&D, C V Raman said the new Dzire has been developed on 5th generation ‘Heartect’ platform, which helps in weight reduction and improve frame rigidity.

The new Dzire also meets frontal, side and pedestrian safety norms that will start kicking in from October this year, he added.

“It is the sixth model from Maruti which meets safety regulations ahead of time,” Raman said. The new model would be mainly produced at the company’s Manesar facility.

The present generation Dzire would now be sold as Dzire Tour to the fleet operators with the launch of the updated version in May, he added.

The car would be launched with a 1.2 litre petrol engine and a 1.3 litre diesel powertrain. The new vehicle would also feature AGS (auto gear shift) transmission in both petrol and diesel options.

Last fiscal, Dzire came third in the top ten best selling list of passenger vehicles. It was the second best selling model among the passenger vehicles in 2015-16.

Last full model change of the Dzire happened in February 2012. Last year, the company launched the compact sedan with auto gear shift (AGS) technology.

PTI