Monday, May 10, 2010

Brand Update : The New Rejuvenated Wagon R

One of India's best selling car brand got better. Recently Maruti Suzuki launched the new Wagon R in the Indian market. The new spruced up model features the famed K Series engine and with a brand new look.

Wagon R has been a run away success since its launch in 1999. So far the company has sold around 8.8 lakh units of Wagon R (source). Infact Wagon R is the second largest selling car brand ( annual sales ) from Maruti's product portfolio.

Wagon R operates in the A2 segment of Indian car market which is witnessing most of the competition in recent times. Most of the car majors are viewing this segment seriously and some of the new brand launches like Chevrolet Beat and Ford Figo has been highly welcomed by the consumers.
This intense competition has prompted Maruti to relaunch the upgraded version of Wagon R with a new engine and renewed look. It is interesting to note that Wagon R recently launched a high profile brand campaign featuring the Celebrity Madhavan.

Maruti have aggressively responded to the competition from Chevy and Ford by keeping the price point of the new Wagon R at the range of Rs 3.5 lakh - 3.85 lakh. Maruti has taken the risk of cannibalizing other brands like Estillo and A Star. The rejuvenation is also a part of Maruti to take the brand from the Maturity stage of the lifecycle stage to the growth path.

The new launch is expected to give much needed boost to the brand. Wagon R is still relevant in the Indian market. The users have vouched for the comfort and drive-ability of this car in the urban jungle. The company feels that the brand still have lot of steam left in it.

The company is calling the new Wagon R as the Blue Eyed Boy. The brand has retained Madhavan as the brand ambassador in the new avatar also.

Most of the auto review comparing Wagon R , Figo and Beat has rated the competitors as better than Wagon R. But what will be driving this brand will be the Maruti endorsement . Although Chevy and Ford have established themselves in the Indian market, Maruti still holds tremendous brand equity among Indian consumers. But competitors are not sitting idle. When Chevy launched Spark to take on Alto, it ran a highly successful campaign guaranteeing Zero maintenance cost for three years. That gave lot of boost to the sale of Spark.
Wagon R in a way offers less risk for the discerning Indian consumers compared to the new entrants in terms of cost of maintenance, spares , service etc. That will help Wagon R hold on to its pivot position atleast for now.

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