The leading passenger car maker of India, Maruti Suzuki, recently announced that the sales of its flagship hatchback model, Swift, has reached the milestone of 1 million units in the country. Maruti Suzuki Swift is currently in its eighth year since its inception in the Indian car market during 2005. The feat achieved by the car is commendable considering the price sensitive nature of Indian car buyers.
Lending a comment on this, Mayank Pareek, Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) for Maruti Suzuki India, said, “The sales of the Swift have exceeded our expectations. In 2005, we targeted sales of 5,000 units a month and some people thought we were dreaming as nobody would buy such an expensive small car in India. Today, it is the second-largest selling car in the country with close to 200,000 units sold annually. In, fact till last year, it commanded a waiting period as demand outstripped supply.”
The car has been credited with the role of laying foundation for hatchbacks in India as it has set benchmarks for other auto makers to follow in its respective segment. Since its launch, Swift has undergone quite a few changes in its designing and interiors aspects. During the initial years of its launch, Swift was only available in petrol version while the diesel model was added to the line-up in 2007. Maruti Suzuki Swift was one of the earliest hatchbacks at that time that was powered by a diesel engine. During 2011, Maruti Suzuki introduced a facelift version of Swift, which is currently amongst the best selling cars of the company.
It must be noted that the milestones achieved by Swift in eight years is faster as compared to entry-level and compact hatchbacks like Maruti 800, Alto, Omni, Wagon R, Hyundai Santro and Tata Indica. Also to mention, the production of Swift hatchback came to a halt last year because of the intensive labour strife at the Manesar facility of the company. With this, the production of the model was stopped for almost three months as the labour agitated against the management. At present, Maruti Suzuki Swift continues to reign in its respective segment as the sales of the car accounted for 108619 units during April-October this year. Despite all this, Swift has not been able to close the gap on the largest selling car of India, Alto 800, which is also from the stable of Maruti Suzuki.
The fabled car of Maruti Suzuki is available in both petrol and diesel options right now. The petrol version of Swift is powered by 1.2-litre K-Series engine that churns out maximum power of 86 bhp whereas the diesel version gets Fiat sourced 1.3-litre Multijet engine that gives away 74 bhp of power. While the transmission options in both the versions remains the same with a five-speed manual gearbox that further transfers power to the rear wheels of the car. As told by a company official, the diesel version of Swift is generally preferred more by Indian customers as the ratio between the diesel version and petrol version stand at 60:40. Meanwhile, reports have suggested that a new facelift version of Swift will be introduced in India by early 2014 while the next-generation Swift is expected to roll out in 2017.
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