Maruti launches hatchback Ritz, its 12th compact car (Lead)

May 15th, 2009 - 4:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki Friday rolled out its 12th compact model Ritz, a hatchback, priced between Rs.390,000 and Rs.480,000 for the petrol version.
The diesel variant will cost between Rs.465,000 and Rs.499,000 in the national capital, top officials of the company said here.

Ritz - a variant of Suzuki’s European car Splash but 95 percent of which is indigenously built - will be available with two different engine options: a new 1.2-litre, four-cylinder 85 PS petrol version, and the group’s successful 1.3-litre, 16-valve DDiS diesel engine - the same that powers the Swift Diesel.

“We had promised one new offering every year, we are fulfilling that promise,” said Maruti Suzuki managing director and chief executive Shinzo Nakanishi at the launch.

“The Ritz combines modern European design, the sportiness of the Swift, the latest in engine technology and Suzuki’s globally acclaimed expertise in compact cars,” said the company that claims a 58 percent market share in the compact car segment.

Developed on the platform of its largest selling compact car, Swift, the car will be available in five variants, three with petrol engines - LXi, VXi and ZXi and two with diesel engines - LDi and VDi.

The Ritz seats five passengers, comfortably delivers 17.7 km to a litre, has a turning radius of 4.7 metres, a high ground clearance of 17 cm, and complies with BS-IV emission norms. It comes in 10 shades, eight of them metallic.

“Customers are becoming very discerning, and we want to serve everyone’s needs by providing alternatives within the brand,” said managing executive officer (marketing and sales) Mayank Parekh.

“We found that if you have multiple brands in the same category, sales grow. Marginal cannibalisation may happen but overall sales will go up,” said Parekh.

The company also plans to hike production of its diesel engines to 300,000 units by end of this year for both exports and domestic consumption.

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