Company: Maruti Suzuki
Agency : Hakudo Percept
A brand that ruled the Indian midsegment car market will be laid to rest very soon. Maruthi Zen which was considered to be one of the best cars on the Indian roads after a long life of 13 years have become redundant. It is a sad news for all Zen owners who still vouch for this hatchback. Marketers will also be sad because it was a marketing failure and not a product failure. The good old zen is still valued as precious by its owners.
Zen was launched in India in 1993. Instantly this premium car became the favorite of the upwardly mobile Indian middle class. The was something special about this jelly bean shaped car and the driving and maneuvering quality was nothing but superb. In cities where there is bumper to bumper traffic, the Zen was the most preferred one.
During the nineties all the cars from Maruti ruled the segment because of lack of competition. Then came Santro and Zen had a competition. Although initially people scoffed at the tall boy design of Santro, slowly through smart marketing, Santro began to eat into Zen's market. Then came the major blow in the form of Indica which changed the rules of the game in the hatchback segment.
Infact their was no need for such an upgrade because the problem was with positioning and not the product. Zen was known for its power, easy driving and quality. It never looked sporty and the colors were lousy. Zen could have excited the younger generation just by introducing a sporty variant with some fantastic colours. The colors of Zen were never exciting.I still believe Zen have that premium touch to it. So with some smart colours and with some sensible advertisements, Zen could have zoomed. The positioning can be a sporty and a smart car for the urban professionals. But alas....