Pronounced ‘Kee-Zah-Shee’ which in Japanese means ‘something great is coming’, it is an executive sedan to be launched in the third week of January 2011.
Though Maruti officials did not give any details, sources told Deccan Herald that Kizashi will be in the ‘C’ segment of car market where it will compete with models like Honda Civic, Skoda Octavia, Toyota Corrola, etc. It will be fitted with a 2 litre petrol engine and expected to be priced between Rs 11-12 lakh (ex-showroom). The car will come in manual as well as automatic transmission.
The new launch will also mark the entry of Maruti Suzuki in the executive segment where it had no presence so far. Though Maruti is the leader in the compact segment (models: Alto, Wagon R, Swift, Ritz) and mid-size segment (Dzire and SX4) occupying around 55 per cent and 36 per cent market share, respectively, it is conspicuous by its absence in the higher-end of the sedan market. Incidentally, Kizashi will be the first of the several new launches the company is planning in 2011including a refreshed version of its popular cars Swift and Dzire and a small SUV.
Interestingly, Kizashi will be launched in India nearly a year after it was showcased in 2010 Delhi Auto Expo. The car displayed at that time was a 2.4 litre premium sedan. But subsequently Maruti Suzuki changed its plan in favour of a slightly smaller sedan with a 2.0 litre engine. The reason: at around 50,000 cars in a year the executive segment is much bigger than more expensive premium segment where the industry sales only around 15,000 cars in a year. The other reason is with many players making a lot of noise, the executive segment is also witnessing good traction in sales. Industry sold 34,107 cars in April-November 2010 period, 20 per cent higher than the same period previous year.
Launched first in 2007, Kizashi is already running successfully in overseas markets in Europe. The version to be launched in India is a new model developed in 2010.