MUMBAI: A day after Honda Motor introduced its much-awaited compact sedan Amaze, India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki hit back with Regal, a new variant of its fast-selling Dzire.
The limited edition 'Regal' variant is priced at Rs 5.60 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), and is available only in petrol. People close to the development said the car will hit the showroom in the next few days.
Regal comes in a new serene blue colour, leather upholstery, advanced music system, rear parking sensor, body-coloured electronically adjustable ORVMs (outside rear view mirror) with a silver coloured front grill.
"Maruti Suzuki is very responsive to competitive market environment. We have seen it in the past... Regal variant is just another example of how nimble the company can be when it comes to reacting to competition," said a person close to the developments in Maruti, but didn't want to be identified.
He also added that Regal is a five-year anniversary edition, and has been ready for a while, but the company wanted to time its release with the launch of Amaze.
It's not unusual for Maruti to introduce new variants close to the launch of new products from rivals. It had come out with a new variant of Alto called 'Xplore' when Hyundai Motor India launched its entry-level car Eon in 2011.
Maruti Suzuki sold 15,000 units of Dzire a month in FY13, selling 1,69,571 units a year, and its sales hit a peak of 18,000 units in March this year. Since its launch, the carmaker has sold close to 5.30 lakh Dzire sedans, and it still has a waiting period on some variants ranging 4-8 weeks. The company still has an order book of 40,000 Dzires.
Meanwhile, Honda is gearing up with a capacity of 5,000 units a month and has already got bookings of over 6,500 units, with the new model running into a waiting period of two months. Experts feel, with highly aggressive pricing, Honda is expected to capture at least 20-25% of the overall market in the coming year.
While Amaze may eat into Dzire sales, it will also hit other brands like Toyota Etios, Chevrolet Sail and Tata Manza, said experts.
"The brand equity of Dzire is very strong, plus the reach of Maruti Suzuki is unmatched. Amaze may eat into Dzire volumes, but the impact on Dzire may not be more than several thousands," said an analyst with a domestic brokerage house, requesting anonymity. Maruti to launch Dzire's variant Regal at Rs 5.60 lakh to take on Honda's Amaze - The Economic Times