NEW DELHI/CHENNAI: After dealing with the spectre of low performance for many months, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has finally stopped selling its compact hatchback Ritz in both domestic and international markets. Confirming the news to Express, a Maruti spokesperson said the company would continue to ensure the availability of spare parts and service for the next ten years.
While Maruti’s official version is that this is part of the company policy of routinely refreshing the product portfolio to introduce new models, the demand for Ritz has been falling drastically.
According to industry sources, this could be a boon for prospective buyers because with the company phasing out the model, dealers who have high inventory would now have to offload their stock immediately, offering heavy discounts.
In November 2016, the company announced that there was zero production in the September-October period. According to data by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, Maruti Suzuki sold 3,038, 2,515 and five units of Ritz in August, September and October, respectively.
Launched in 2009 in both petrol and diesel versions, the Ritz sold a total of 4 lakh units. Currently, very few Ritz model are now not available with the dealers, said the spokesperson.
Stating that Ritz has been one of Maruti’s successful models in its portfolio, the spokesperson added that it played a role in strengthening the company’s presence among the modern compact cars.
The company now sells the newly-launched Ignis, Swift, Celerio, Dzire and Baleno in the compact segment, which witnessed 25.2 per cent growth in sales to 55,817 units last month against 44,575 in the year-ago period.
The car maker had also recently discontinued sales of lower variants of premier crossover S-Cross featuring 1.6-litre diesel engine, due to low demand. The company is now selling only the top-end Alpha variant of the vehicle featuring 1.6-litre diesel engine, priced at `12.03 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), from its premium retail channel Nexa. Maruti, however, continues to sell all the three variants of the crossover powered by a smaller 1.3-litre diesel engine.