Maruti Udyog's Swift will hit the roads in the third week of May. Swift has been positioned in the premium A2 segment between the Zen and Esteem, and the closest competitors will be Hyundai Getz, Ford Fusion, Fiat Palio and Opel Sail, said a Maruti spokesperson. The price of the car will be between Rs 4.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.
Swift has been designed and developed by Suzuki and Maruti engineers with a European touch. The car has a 1.3-litre engine and will be available in eight shades. Asked if there are any plans of introducing a diesel variant, the spokesperson said, "There are no plans to introduce a diesel variant."
The target group for the Swift are the "young, assertive and confident customers". In India, Maruti has an aggressive sales task that would be solely involved in the selling of Swift. The spokesperson said, "We have recruited 1,000 youngsters to exclusively sell Swift. They will be placed at all the 212 Maruti dealerships and sales outlets, and their primary task would be to sell Swift."
Suzuki launched the car at the Paris Motor Show in 2004. During the launch, Swift was associated with soccer and the football star of Portugal and Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, was chosen to endorse Swift. However, Maruti has no plans of using Ronaldo for the promotions in India, said the Maruti official, adding, "There will be no Indian brand ambassador either." Capital advertising has made the commercials for Swift.
The marketing initiatives have already started with the tie-up with Yash Raj banner. The film, Bunty and Babli, is going to be released on May 27 and as the car rolls out on Indian roads, so will it be seen on celluloid. On the reason for this association, the spokesperson said, "This is the first time that Maruti is attempting to do film advertising and we are looking at innovative promotions. The movie, one of the most eagerly awaited flicks, is a road romance directed by Shaad Ali. The car's launch and the release of the film will be close to each other and this will help in recall value. The attributes that Yash Raj films carry match well with the core values that the car stands for-style and finesse."
Other than the in-film promotions, customised accessories will be launched simultaneously with Swift and a television commercial will also hit the media around the launch time.
Twenty-one engineers from Maruti have been involved in the design and development of Swift and India is going to be one among the four global production bases for the car.