NEW DELHI -- Maruti Suzuki India aims to attract technology-driven youth with its premium hatchback Ignis, set to launch Jan. 13.
India's largest automaker will offer the vehicle through its Nexa outlets, which also sell Baleno and S-Cross models. The Ignis will be available in gasoline and diesel variants powered by 1.2-liter and 1.3-liter engines, respectively.
The hatchback, designed for the 18-35 age group, comes with automatic gearshift options as well as an Android- and iOS-compatible smartphone linkage display audio system. Online bookings for Ignis will start early next month, Maruti Suzuki officials said Thursday, though they refrained from disclosing the price range at this stage.
Maruti Suzuki eyes the country's 440 million young adults "who have a different style of thinking, listen to their inner voice most of the time and believe in exclusivity," R.S. Kalsi, executive director of marketing and sales, told reporters here.
These individuals will drive India's growth, and Maruti Suzuki is the first company to identify the choices of this group, Kalsi said. "There's no car brand that is talking to them, and they are left to choose what is available," he said. "Here's a car that is going to talk directly to these millennials."
Ignis is India's "first urban compact vehicle" for this age group, Kalsi said.
Target customers are digitally connected first-time buyers who eschew compromise. "They want best of designs, the looks, features, global standards -- everything has to be there in that package," said Vinay Pant, assistant vice president of marketing. "But again the practicality comes in: It should be a city car which they can maneuver here and there."
Parent Suzuki Motor launched Ignis in Japan back in February, selling 18,000 by the end of August. The company's Indian unit looks to cater to the domestic market first, followed by exports to South and Southeast Asia. Maruti Suzuki said research and development took three and a half years.