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Old 2nd November 2009, 19:53   #1
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Default Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

The A Star is the first Maruti to sport the K series engine and is a technical marvel. It was launched with much hype in late 2008. Initially, it had waiting lists for upto two months with many dealerships.
The design and looks are quite contemporary, but may not appeal to everybody.It drives exceedingly well but for the fact that the driver is seated a bit low while the lower part of the windscreen is perched higher and so is the higher bonnet height. The engine is peppy and driving it is real fun. It comes with two frontal airbags and ABS too in the VXi version.
Despite all these facts, just after four or five months in the market, discounts of upto Rs 15K were offered. Thousands of these are being exported, especially to Europe. Rightfully so, because it has replaced the Alto there and sells as the Alto.
In India even after nearly a year since its launch, the A Star has failed to reach the Top Ten best selling cars list.Contrarily, the Zen Estilo never really made it, as it was a lemon ever from day one, since September 2006. But maybe, with the A Star K Series engine under its bonnet, the new Estilo (no Zen now) can enter the Top Ten.This presumption is too far fetched but seeing the Wagon R selling so well, I doubt whether we really need contemporary technology?
On the other hand the Ritz has reached the Top Ten being launched much after the A Star viz. May 2009! The Ritz has dealer discounts too, has an eccentric design and has the Swift to cannibalise its sales, but despite all these hurdles it sells well.
The Alto remains the best selling car in India. The Wagon R continues to set the sales charts afire, even a decade after its launch. It clearly means that we prefer proven, old technology over new. True the Wagon R has a high VFM quotient, but its dated with its old 1096 cc engine, which was only MPFIed by MSIL lately and some cosmetic touches were given to the Wagon R.
The Swift and even the Swift DZire all from Maruti, find places in the Top Ten, but not the A Star!
There is something the A Star really lacks for market acceptance.Also the i10 is really giving it a tough time!

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 2nd November 2009 at 19:59.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 19:57   #2
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I think the A Star needed to be priced a bit lower than what it is, if Lxi varient was available at about 3.30-3.40k on road, it would sure sell like hot cakes.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 19:57   #3
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I checked out the A-star before buying my Alto in June. At that time the price difference was high. But after sitting in both the cars, I felt better in the Alto and thought it represented more VFM. The A-star felt more cramped at the rear than the Alto. May be a lot of people think the same thing!
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Old 2nd November 2009, 19:57   #4
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easy
1. Price
2. Space
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:00   #5
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Stop selling the Alto and WagonR for sometime
Isnt this what they did to Ritz? Stopped pushing Swift.
Apart from bad pricing and funny looks, it doesnt look airy inside unlike Alto.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I checked out the A-star before buying my Alto in June. At that time the price difference was high. But after sitting in both the cars, I felt better in the Alto and thought it represented more VFM. The A-star felt more cramped at the rear than the Alto. May be a lot of people think the same thing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
easy
1. Price
2. Space
True the rear seat leg space is a bit cramped and so is the boot space! Even ingress and egress makes anyone taller than 5'8" hit the ceiling many a time!

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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:04   #7
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A* would make a good second car. But how many of us can afford to buy A* as a spare/second car!
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:09   #8
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A-star was never meant to be a 5 door hatch for a family of 4-5!
MSIL got it all wrong.
MSIL should have launched the a star with focus on young generation - 3 door hatch, sporty interiors, nice tires and alloys (to name a few), and left the alto for the conservative buyers.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:09   #9
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I did a test drive of Astar and i felt that it was too crampy for me. (I am 6'3" ). The rear leg space is not enough and a long drive in that would end in lead foot for the rear passengers. I would say the only place where you can drive a star is within city limits with driver +1 passenger only.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:18   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
Also the i10 is really giving it a tough time!
Yes for that price bracket or a little stretchable one people might go for a base Ritz or an at par i10. I feel the A* is somewhat a filler to the range of products and price options. I'm not sure if they are serious abouts its success as well. No promotions, discounts or attractive packages. Its not that MUL has nothing to bank on other than the sales of the A*. This is IMHO only.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:21   #11
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Is this sold abroad as a 3-door hatch and in India as a 5-door?
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:22   #12
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The writing is too obvious on the wall - Price for the space offered. Had Maruti got the pricing right, it would have sold like hot cakes.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:29   #13
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It is so plasticky and cramped . The rear doors are india specific . The boot is very small . It is/was not very cheap . Alto is simply more VFM and in that segment VFM is king .
Hence the failure to set the sales chart on fire .
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:30   #14
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Greenhorn summed it up. It's price and space all the way. Compare an A Star to an Alto, the Alto wins every time.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 20:36   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRf1 View Post
It is so plasticky and cramped . The rear doors are india specific .
Yeah, the rear window's base too take a sudden upturn rising up reducing the glass area, making the rear seated ones feel claustrophobic.
Even the Swift and Ritz have the "rising up" rear windows.
Is Maruti-Suzuki doing something to replicate or celebrate the retro looks of the 1970's Datsuns (not yet Nissans then!!) most of which had such rear windows?
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