RIP – Ritz in Peace!

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Maruti Suzuki Ritz was internationally known as the Suzuki Splash. It was jointly developed by Suzuki Motor Corporation and Adam Opel AG. The name Splash was dropped in India as it was already registered by Ford (though we haven’t seen any Ford Splash yet!). The car was launched in India in the year 2009 and was recently in 2016 Maruti guys decided to discontinue the model in the sub-continent. Some interesting history about the compact car –

  • This car has been yet another success for Maruti, with more than 200,000 Ritz on Indian roads within the first 37 months of release, all this without the support of any sort of advertisement campaign.
  • Ritz was launched as a direct competition to Hyundai’s i10. However, the Korean product always had an edge due to much premium interiors.
  • Off-late, with both Petrol & Diesel Avatars the car couldn’t sell as per Suzuki’s expectation and has been phased out gradually in international markets. It was discontinued in Europe in late 2014, being replaced with the new Suzuki Celerio (starting from the summer of 2015). It was also discontinued in Indonesia in June 2016.
  • In India, we expect the Ignis to replace Ritz in the portfolio. Ignis will be made available in the Indian market during Jan-Mar 2017 timeframe.
  • Maruti tried the best to sustain the model – even the Ritz Tour was launched as a mid-life effort to hike the numbers. However, the strategies did not give the desired result.

Maruti Ritz was an extremely practical car and looked smart as well. However, the sales numbers had never been ‘magical’ enough for Maruti. We present the sales statistics for the model since its inception:

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  • Ritz garnered its all time high-volume in the first month of its launch! It could never cross >8k sales numbers post May 2009. Also it could touch >7k units sales only thrice in its lifetime.
  • We have seen  a trend where Maruti Suzuki discontinues a model if its sales drop below 2k units consistently. The trend was earlier seen in A-star and Zen Estilo. Maybe the model isn’t viable enough to the manufacturer?
  • Even the diesel offering wasn’t lucrative enough for the buyers. The petrol-only Wagon R sells phenomenally more than the Ritz!
  • Even though Ritz sales was less than Maruti’s expectations – Its average sales was more than the overall sales of several OEMs in India (Ex: GM, Skoda, Fiat, etc)!
  • Ritz sold 3,58,631 units in the Indian subcontinent till date!

We at Auto Punditz wish a dignified farewell to the brand and wish the upcoming Ignis the best. Hope Ignis is capable enough to stand on the Indian consumers expectations and build a name for itself.

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