After rolling out the Maruti Zen in a new avatar, Maruti Udyog is set to launch the new look version of the mid-size car Esteem. The new Esteem will have considerable changes in the bonnet, the grill, on the rear and in the interiors, industry sources said.
According to market analysts, "The feeling at the company was that while the car was liked by people on the performance and the cost of ownership aspect, the look of the car was about 10 years old and getting a bit outdated. Hence, the decision to give the car a fresh look." It could, however, not be ascertained if there will any changes in its pricing.
The launch will also help the company meet competition in the increasingly crowded A3 (mid-size sedan) segment. The A3 segment has seen considerable action over the past year in the form of price cuts and new launches. In addition, the segment has been growing at a steady rate.
Sales of the Esteem, which is available in five variants, grew by 10 per cent in the last year to about 11,500 units.
Meanwhile, industry sources point out the launch could be indicative of Maruti's strategy to focus on the A3 segment this year, after taking a number of initiatives for its compact car models last year. Earlier this year, Maruti had rolled out a cheaper variant of its other A3 model Baleno. The last year had seen the company roll out new look versions of the Zen and the WagonR.
Many domestic manufacturers in recent months have strived to regularly come out with newer variants of their car as well as revamp existing models in order to create constant excitement in the market and maintain consumer interest. And the strategy has worked. For instance, new look versions of the City and Accord rolled out by Honda last year have seen runaway sales.
Maruti had indicated last year that it intends to regularly innovate on its existing models.