has re-entered the SUV market with a new model of the Grand Vitara, the Escudo. If sources are to be believed, the creative duties have been awarded to Hakuhodo Percept.
Grand Vitara XL-7 was initially launched in April 2003, marking Maruti's entry into the SUV market. Following this, an upgraded version was launched in December the same year, priced at Rs 16.98 lakhs, which was Rs 21,000 costlier than at the time of launch. This time around, Maruti has checked its handicap - its price - and priced it at Rs 13.80 lakhs for the manual transmission model. The automatic model is costlier by a lakh.
stable- Grand Vitara 'Escudo'
Maruti has a roster of agencies that handle various brands for the company - O&M, Lowe, Hakuhodo Percept and Capital Advertising. The refurbished Baleno, SX4, was launched in May this year, and the creative duties were awarded to Lowe, which also handles other brands such as the Omni, Alto, Esteem and Versa. O&M looks at Zen Estilo and Capital has Swift. Apart from bagging the duties for Escudo, Hakuhodo Percept handles the Maruti 800 and Wagon R.
This is Maruti's fifth launch in less than a year, following the WagonR Duo, Zen Estilo, Swift Diesel and the SX4. The new model possesses features to suit the needs of the Indian market, but will not be manufactured in India; the Grand Vitara will be imported in completely built form from Japan. The five-seater is available in an array of nine colours.
The SUV segment is revving up, as a number of players have announced ambitious plans of taking this segment to a new level. Mahindra & Mahindra recently launched the revamped model of its entry level SUV, Bolero, and is expected to launch its new SUV, Ingenio. Nissan, too, has announced its plans to launch an SUV for the Indian markets.
As far as Maruti's luck is concerned, the recently launched SX4 seems to have taken off on a good note, presenting rival Honda City with a challenge in the big car segment. According to figures provided by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the company sold 5,008 units in the A3 segment in May.