As a car buyer in India, such brands as Honda, Audi, and Mercedes will always titillate your soul. Irrespective of a Honda car, such as the City’s price, the latter holds more aesthetic value, performance based appeal and aura over its ‘lesser’ competitors such as the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and the Hyundai Verna. Whenever there is a MarutiCiazvs Honda City (Click here) situation, the latter is sure to hold the advantage.
‘What’s in a Name?’
Us Indians (sorry for the stereotyping) associate quality with the car’s origins in a foreign country (preferably the hardworking Japanese or the showy Americans). Imported cars, marquee automobiles, and cars with the foreign tag have traditionally held an advantage over Indian cars, even though the latter count includes such quality and respected OEMs as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, and Mahindra.
Question of Quality
BMW cars are inordinately expensive, yet known for being quality automobiles. The logic holds that since the vehicle in itself is so costly, the inherent aspects of safety, styling, quality and durability would have been expertly addressed. Thus, the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 might be one of the most fuel efficient cars in India, a champion in the entry level hatchback segment and at just Rs. 2.67- 4.05 lakhs, one of the most affordable cars on the planet, yet none of its target audience will ever associate it with quality. And, oddly, the car buying populace is OK with that assumption. Let me add that the Alto 800 is a very quality product and consistently the best selling car in India, month-on-month.
Time for an Image Makeover
The timing is just right. The Indian Government has mandated that basic safety features such as driver side and passenger side airbags, ABS, crash-test competency and the newly proposed pedestrian protection features must be compulsorily included in all cars that are manufactured in India. This is bound to push said OEMs out of their MO- wherein, these safety features were only offered on the top variants of car models while lower end variants were not fitted with the same to save costs. Now, the aforementioned equation will have to be reworked. Maybe, just maybe, the OEMs can stress on the aspect that enhanced features don’t necessarily have to bloat the car’s final on-road price.
The Maruti Suzuki Ignis is launching on January 13th, 2017 and it exemplifies the first attempts to adhere to this genre of car making. The Ignis comes loaded with features, including all the basic safety additions across all the variants, an invigorating design language, Maruti Suzuki’s retailing of the car at their premium Nexa showrooms and the high-quality production values imbibed through the production cycle of the car. The astonishing factor here, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis’s price ranges from just Rs.5- 7 lakhs. Neat, right?
Importantly, the Ignis proves that a quality car can be made in India without compromises and exuberant costs. Maybe the Ignis’ssurefire success encourage other OEMs to follow suit. Just maybe, cars will reach the zenith of safety, quality, and durability in a couple of years from now.
One can surely hope, right??