Saturday, January 12, 2008

Brand Update : Maruti Esteem RIP ( 1995-2007)

One of India's most reliable sedan is now a part of history. Officially Maruti Suzuki pulled the plug on Esteem on December 2007. According to the reports, Esteem is likely to be replaced by Swift Sedan branded as Dezire.
Suzuki Esteem is a perfect example of a brand moving through its Product Life Cycle. Within 12 years, the brand moved through all the stages. The reason for the withdrawal if Esteem is the fact that the brand is being perceived as dated brand. With high profile competition from brands like Ford Fiesta, Indigo, Verna , Accent, Logan and host of other sedans, the customers are spoiled with choices. Esteem in a sense has lost the esteem value for the customer.

With the price tag of 5-7 lakhs , the customer had a choice of more luxurious sedans that too with diesel options. Maruti could not afford to sell Esteem at a lower price and even after its makeover couldn't attract the buyers.
But I feel that like the good old Zen, Esteem's withdrawal may be a mistake since it could work as an excellent flanker brand for SX4 and the proposed Dezire. The brand would have made a terrific comeback if Suzuki could cut the brand's price to 4-5 lakhs. There is a huge potential for a sedan at the price range of Rs 4 - 5 lakhs ( on road) .
How ever Esteem now does not fit into Suzuki's new scheme of penetrating into the luxury sedan market.Hence the brand is being phased out.

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