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Old 3rd October 2016, 10:26   #1
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Default R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Thank you to the Team-BHP fan (he prefers to remain anonymous) who sent this information in. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts!

Maruti Suzuki has finally pulled the plug on the Ritz hatchback. Its production has officially been stopped from October 1st, 2016. The car was launched back in May 2009, which translates to a production run of around 7.5 years. It was given a mid-life facelift in 2012. The automaker is expected to replace it with the Ignis hatchback crossover, which is scheduled to be launched in the coming months.

Though the production has completely been stopped, the Ritz will be on sale till the company clears all existing stocks. In addition to dealer inventory, the automaker has a few units of the car at the factory, which will soon be dispatched to dealerships.

The Maruti Ritz was offered with two engine options - a 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder petrol and a 1.3-litre, DDiS diesel. Both these engines are available with a 5-speed manual gearbox, while a 4-speed auto was also offered with the petrol version.

Trivia: The Ritz was the first car to be officially reviewed (Maruti Ritz : Test Drive & Review) by Team-BHP!

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Last edited by dZired : 3rd October 2016 at 10:29.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 10:36   #2
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Default R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

One of the most underrated cars in India. We were planing to buy the ZDi at home in 2015 but plans changed. It was a brilliant package for the price. Infact I found it way better than the Swift. People always complained about the looks but they eventually grow on you.

On the other hand, Used Ritz's are going to be slightly cheaper now .

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Old 3rd October 2016, 10:47   #3
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

I have been noticing a lot of white LDIs since past six months, running as taxis. Looks like there is a huge market of Uber and Ola drivers for this affordable, low-maintenance and no-frills car. Why did Maruti choose to discontinue production?!
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Old 3rd October 2016, 10:57   #4
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Ritz was positioned as a more practical alternative to the Swift in European & other markets. Unique & likeable Suzuki because of -

- Boomerang tail lights
- Tacho mounted on the dashboard
- Cool blue interior trim

Considered the Ritz twice (once the Zxi petrol in 2010 and again the AT variant in 2015) but eventually bought something else. The AT variant of Ritz had atrocious pricing (VXi variant, no airbags, Rs. 7.6 lacs on road Bangalore)

Last edited by SDP : 4th October 2016 at 09:31. Reason: typo
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Old 3rd October 2016, 10:58   #5
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikred View Post
I have been noticing a lot of white LDIs since past six months, running as taxis. Looks like there is a huge market of Uber and Ola drivers for this affordable, low-maintenance and no-frills car. Why did Maruti choose to discontinue production?!
I think the car has been discontinued for the passenger segment while the LDi will continue to exist for the fleet owners. This was the information which I had got last week from a friend who had inquired about a Ritz with Maruti
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Old 3rd October 2016, 10:59   #6
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Earlier news suggests that it will come back with a "Tour" version, just like the old DZire. Maruti may not let it go the 3K sales Ritz is attracting now.

Last edited by romeomidhun : 3rd October 2016 at 11:17.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 11:09   #7
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Even I read somewhere right here that the Ritz will return back with "Tour" badging to cater to the Taxi Segment.

However, laying to rest one of the most practical (& Better built Marutis doesn't come as a surprise mainly due to its shrinking sales numbers.

While in Delhi 3 weeks before, I was surprised to witness so many WagonR as cabs (I am aware of Mumbai and the 4 cylinder WagonRs, Santros and i10s). They were just so many in numbers that every WagonR I saw ended up being a Taxi.

Not just that, we were even transported from the Airport to NOIDA in a WagonR and our local rounds in NOIDA was also in WagonR Taxi.

The reason to bring in WagonR into this thread is to say that although Ritz is a much better option to the WagonR, its the price (And probably the FE) for Cab drivers that dithers them from picking one as their bread winner.

And then, in Cities, most of the folks need a smaller second car that is good on space and not necessarily powerful for city commutes - The WagonR again takes lead her over the Ritz. It is more affordable in terms of buying and driving around too.

Lastly, who would want to forget that looks play a very important part for buying decisions - Way too less people who have called Ritz good looking although for those who are Tallboys and need a Tallboy haven't cared about it much.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 11:13   #8
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Quote:
Originally Posted by romeomidhun View Post
Earlier news suggests that it will come back with a "Tour" version, just like the old DZire. Maruti may not let it go the 3K sales the Ritz is attracting now.
+1.

It has become popular with cabbies recently. I doubt Maruti will turn a blind eye to that segment.

But commercial sales aside, it doesn't make sense to continue with the Ritz now that they have Ignis, Swift and Baleno trying to fight it out in that price range.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 11:31   #9
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikred View Post
I have been noticing a lot of white LDIs since past six months, running as taxis. Looks like there is a huge market of Uber and Ola drivers for this affordable, low-maintenance and no-frills car. Why did Maruti choose to discontinue production?!
As a Ritz owner, I can say that it is extremely ill-suited to being a taxi. Rear seat space is horrible, as is boot space.

On the plus side the front seat comfort is awesome, especially if you can move the seat back (making it impossible for someone who is not a professional contortionist to sit behind you).

I look at it as a 2-seater car. It can carry 2 people in the front in great comfort, and the rear seat can be folded down for luggage. That is how I use it.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 11:34   #10
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Finally the curtains are now down for the Splash a.k.a Ritz.

The Ritz, just like any other Maruti car of its time, was not amongst the elite club of "Good looking cars". However, it ticked all boxes on critical aspects. It was reliable, spacious and quite efficient, yet it served all duties like a humble companion. The only grouse about this car was its looks, especially from the hind quarters.

Maruti could have taken a leaf from Hyundai books, which promptly worked on the Santro (Mickey Mouse inspired “Zip Drive” version) that faced similar issue with awkward looking rear quarter. Following the face (and rear) lift, the success story of the new Santro (Xing), is known well to one and all. Maruti, on similar lines, could have made sincere efforts to address this aspect. I fail to fathom as what prevented them from doing this.

The Ritz was a respectable car and sold in decent numbers all along. Even in its second last month of production i.e., Aug, 2016, the Ritz was able to find 3038 new homes (that was much more than the combined sales of Polo, Figo, Brio and Abarth, during this month), which speaks volumes about its acceptability, despite the said shortcoming.

Apparently, she was getting step motherly treatment from Maruti for reasons better known to them alone. It was only a matter of time when Maruti disclosed its decision to "Kill" this beast.

It’s time to bid farewell to this legendary companion, with a heavy heart.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 11:46   #11
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Ritz will continue to play in taxi segment. The avatar could be LDi or Tour, let MSIL decide about it. leaving 25 to 30K annual sales is not a good idea. Freeing up capacity for Ignis may not be case here as Ignis production will happen from Gujarat Factory and not from Gurgaon / Manesar.

One has to admit that for no. 1 and no. 2 manufacturers (MSIL and Hyundai), these monthly sales are below the threshold. Santro was taken off the production when similar monthly sales were observed without any kind of aggressive product marketing.

MSIL is operating with a healthy product portfolio and products in demand require less selling efforts at the dealership with little or no discount to the end consumer, and this is what manufacturers are targeting at. Ritz for one failed similar to A-Star, previous gen Baleno, Versa and it is right decision by the company to take it off the charts.

Previous Gen Baleno - replaced by all new Baleno
SX4 replaced with S-Cross
Versa replaced with more economical Eeco

And the tall boy Ritz gets replaced with Ignis which takes care of the form factor issue that was a let down for Ritz. Also as many of us know, Ignis would be another experimental playground for MSIL. Some of the things that are expected in Ignis are

- All wheel drive (Suzuki All Grip)
- Turbo Petrol (Boosterjet)
- Suzuki's own turbo charged FGT diesel mill (Ignis is expected to get it first)
- 2 Door with Sun roof (Sports version)

All these would require a fresh car / clean slate.

Ritz was a good car, and all those who own it can say so with full confidence. Those who are in the market and thinking about it - well this is the time to extract maximum benefits / discounts from dealers.

Last edited by SDP : 4th October 2016 at 09:35. Reason: typos
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Old 3rd October 2016, 11:51   #12
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Ritz was such a practical car which was fun to drive as well. Sad it will be a history soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dZired View Post
The automaker is expected to replace it with the Ignis hatchback crossover, which is scheduled to be launched in the coming months.
Why kill the brand 'Ritz'? Why not launch this car as next-gen Ritz, instead of a new name 'Ignis'?
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Old 3rd October 2016, 12:19   #13
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teesh@BHP View Post
Why kill the brand 'Ritz'? Why not launch this car as next-gen Ritz, instead of a new name 'Ignis'?
Maybe Maruti realized that Ritz Brand Name didn't do well according to their expectation. It was a good car, but it didn't reach the level that other Maruti's (Swift/Dzire/Esteem/Alto/WagonR) had done so comfortably.

Ignis being a global product, it's name will be retained and it too will replicate Ritz USPs like high driving position, practicality to name a few. I hope Maruti launches CVT rather then AMT as this will be a premium offering. It will also likely to be priced at same range as Ritz - Rs. 4.5-7 lakhs.

Last edited by SDP : 4th October 2016 at 09:37. Reason: Typo Fixed
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Old 3rd October 2016, 12:23   #14
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

I think its a good time for the car to go before it becomes so old that people start to absolutely hate it.
I used it as a daily driver for about 3 years and absolutely loved it. When I bought it in 2010 February, the choice was mainly between the Ritz and the Swift, I remember going for the Ritz because it had the excellent KB12 engine while the swift was still chugged by the old 1.3L petrol. Another reason was that the swift was too common on the roads and I'm always one to do things slightly differently

What came as a surprise to me and enhanced my ownership experience multi-fold was how she handled. Probably one of the most chuckable cars I've driven. She had excellent grip and was an absolute point and shoot. The best part was the tall rear end tended to step out ever so slightly, enough for it to be fun but not so much that it was a cause of concern. This handling package along with the excellent engine allowed me to win 3 Autocross events with my bone stock ritz (except of the alloys).

Another note-worthy experience and lesson learnt; I once participated in the valley run (a drag event) with my Ritz. Spent some money on a side-pipe exhaust (it sounded absolutely fabulous, I will search for the video and post it here later) and stripped down the interiors to save weight . Went in for my first run and was absolutely smoked by an Esteem. She went well upto around 80 kmph, but progress was agonizingly slow beyond that. Lesson learnt: NEVER DRAG RACE A TALL BOY

R.I.P. Maruti Ritz-l201111_5233-smart-object1.jpg

Last edited by SDP : 4th October 2016 at 09:38. Reason: Please restrict smiley usage to 2 per post
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Old 3rd October 2016, 12:38   #15
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Default Re: R.I.P. Maruti Ritz

Quote:
Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
Apparently, she was getting step motherly treatment from Maruti for reasons better known to them alone.
The reason is simple: profitability. Swift, though similar to Ritz in all aspects (platform, engines, build quality etc) is sold at around 60K more than Ritz (after discounts on Ritz). If they improve the looks of Ritz and if it garners an additional 3K numbers from Swift, Maruti will be losing a cool 18 Crores per month! To make up for this loss, Maruti has to garner an additional 7.2K units from other manufacturers, which seems impossible (assuming the profit on a Ritz is 25K).

Last edited by romeomidhun : 3rd October 2016 at 12:59.
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