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View Poll Results: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?
Yes 129 46.24%
No 129 46.24%
Can't Say 21 7.53%
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Old 19th March 2011, 22:46   #1
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Default Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

I have always been fascinated by the Maruti Ritz ever since it was launched sometime in May 2009. Many considered the car ugly mainly for its rear, while others felt that the Ritz had a radical 'boomerang' back. There were some who slowly took time to accept its shape.

Those impressed with the Ritz were clean bowled by its K-series engine and were also pleased that it had the famed 1.3 diesel engine under its bonnet. Many have also praised the Ritz for its roomy cabin and its tall-boy design (easy ingress and egress).

In fact, when my brother-in-law wanted to buy a car in May 2009, he had shortlisted the Swift and the Ritz. While he had a soft corner for the Swift, he went for the Ritz, as it was readily available at the time, while the Swift had a long waiting period. Moreover, the Ritz seemed a newer car with a roomier cabin, in comparison to the swift.

I too had shortlisted the Ritz as one of my top two choices while we were planning to buy a Rs 4.5 lakh car in December 2010. We eventually settled for the I10 (we felt the I10 Magna 1.2 VTVT had more to offer than the Ritz LXI), but I was very impressed with the Ritz and would gladly recommend the car to anyone.

The expectations of the Ritz, after its launch, were such that it was meant to make a 'Splash' (I think this was the original name for the Ritz) in India.

But has the Ritz lived up to its glitz?

The 6000-odd sales of the Ritz every month may seem great in comparison to many of its competitors, but compare it to its older sibling, the legendary Swift, and the sales appear to tell a different story.

Consider the below monthly sales of the three cars, the Swift, the Ritz and the I10.

Period ------- Swift ------ Ritz ------ I10

Feb '11 ----- 10936 ----- 5882 ----- 15105
Jan '11 ----- 11353 ----- 6046 ----- 16694
Dec '10 ----- 11600 ----- 5188 ----- 10794
Nov '10 ----- 12198 ----- 6377 ----- 14617
Oct '10 ----- 12948 ----- 6928 ----- 15103
Sep' 10 ----- 11913 ----- 6408 ----- 14434
Aug '10 ----- 11508 ----- 6609 ----- 11294

But it is clear from the above that the 'newer' Ritz has been selling almost half of the 'ageing' Swift, which is expected to get a face-lift later this year. In fact, both Swift and Ritz feature the same two-option engines and in many places, the Swift even commanded a longer waiting period than the Ritz. Many were under the impression that the longer waiting period for the Swift would have compelled prospective die-hard Maruti buyers to opt for the Ritz, thereby easing off some pressure off the Swift. And yet, despite all odds favouring the Ritz, there has been a strong disparity in sales and sales of the Ritz has stuck to the 6000-mark, while the Swift has consistently been selling around 11500 each month.

Besides, the 'larger' Ritz with its famed K-series and DDIS engines has also been selling half of the petrol-only 'smaller' I10, which, incidentally, is considered a 'premium' priced hatch.

Even the Figo, which arrived much later, overtook the Ritz and has steadily been hovering around the 7,000 mark, despite the fact that its petrol engine has not been reviewed favourably.

What could be the reason for the relatively weaker sales of the Ritz? Could it be because...

1. Its peculiar rear shape.
2. It's been overshadowed by the Swift.
3. It has not been marketed properly
4. Other factors.

So then, has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz? I would be interested to hear your views on this topic. I sincerely feel that Ritz is a great car and the sales have, somehow, been below my expectations.

Thanks,
Melvyn

Last edited by misquitas : 19th March 2011 at 23:03.
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Old 20th March 2011, 00:43   #2
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

I loved the looks of the ritz when it was launched. But now a days its a mixed bag sometimes i like it and sometimes it looks like a re shapedmodern bread box. No offence meant to anyone. Space wise it is definately roomier than the swift. Even though the swift is dated now and due for a replacement i would still pick up and old type swift rather than the ritz. And with the new swift around the corner i see the sales of the ritz heading south.
Overall i feel the ritz definately has lost its glitz over the years.
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Old 20th March 2011, 01:22   #3
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

I have voted 'Yes'.
I would view this topic slightly differently. Agreed that the Ritz in sheer numbers could not kill its direct competitor the i10 but when Maruti Suzuki launched the Ritz with its unique rear end styling, I am sure they knew what they were doing and the numbers they were targetting. Even MS knew that this would be a love me or hate me design, however, they loaded the Ritz with several features - abs, airbags, integrated music system, etc and offered the package at a very attractive price which initially was speculated to be higher than its sibling- Swift but MS shocked all by pricing it below its sibling, making this hatch a Value for money proposition.
It offers a relatively spacious interior, decent quality and adequate performance. I know several prospective buyers of the ritz who just walked away from the car due to its rear end but loved it otherwise. Then there were those (including me) who wanted something different looking than the swift but wanted the same reliability and after sales support and the same motor, hence bought a Ritz.

Conclusion- Yes the Ritz may be selling lesser compared to the I10 but MS have been successful with this product in India by grabbing 6000 odd buyers every month (which is not a small number by any means). Hence, I donot think the Ritz lost its glitz.
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Old 20th March 2011, 08:33   #4
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

1) Voted for Yes.

2) The numbers represent only haft the story. Considering that the powertrain is shared with the hugely successful Swift, its rather good that the car is selling to the tune of 6000 units.

Most of the Ritz sold are petrol and the story is exactly different for Swift IIRC ( correct me if I am wrong ).

Next thing is overlap. There is huge and upto some extent unthinkable overlap in the small car range in Maruti stable. Maruti has time and again stated that they are not worried about one of its product being no.1 in sales chart. Even with cannibalization of sales of one model by another ( from Maruti range only ), if overall sales are higher, MS is happy. I think Ritz exactly did that.

3) I agree that if look are a bit more digestible specially the rear end, Ritz would sell more, but its more than a good package.

I rate Ritz higher than i10 in terms of ride quality, handling and motors. Moreover, maintenance is also a bit cheaper ( from ACI ).

Ritz is one of the most under rated cars in the small car segment along with Beat IMO.

Ritz
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Old 20th March 2011, 09:32   #5
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

Voted Yes.
I feel that the things going for the Ritz are:
  • Brilliant petrol motor (The first car to get the 1.2 K-series)
  • Interior space (Front seats and dash almost feel like from a bigger car)
  • Loaded top-end petrol variant (Only auto-climate control missing)
  • High seating position (SUV among hatchbacks!)
  • Great ground clearance and maneuverability
  • Easy ingress and egress
  • Brilliant Blue Blaze color
I don't mind the rear at all. In fact it is a smaller version of the CRV's back and grows on you eventually.




But what's even better is that given it is unconventional and quirky, not everyone buys it and so it is not as common as potatoes (or Swifts ), which works for buyers like my wife who need something different!
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Old 20th March 2011, 10:03   #6
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

Ritz has not lived up to it's potential because of the looks factor. For me the ritz is anyday a better package than swift if not for the quirky looks. Also a vast majority of the car public go for swift because they believe that it's more proven than the ritz. remember that swift was launched earlier.

Ritz was starting to get better traction last year but the advent of Figo seems to have stopped that better traction.
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Old 20th March 2011, 10:16   #7
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

I voted a Yes. Somethings that came to mind were:

1. It is a practical alternative to the Swift. Practical for ease of ingress and outgress, and overall room. We Indians are generally on the plumpier side, so tend to appreciate the internal room better. It is no segment beater though (Thanks to Tata for spoiling us with all the interior space in the world)

2. Mechanically, it is a newer platform.

3. Can be had over the shelf (has a shorter waiting list). It sells less, so that contributes to the story)

4. The design will grow on us. Remember, when launched, Swift did not do well either. Quirky looks were the pointers. Look now and be amazed!
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Old 20th March 2011, 10:38   #8
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

In February 2010, our family bought the Ritz. The decision to buy a new car was taken in Oct 09. And for the next 4 months me and my dad had numerous debates. As the car was mainly for me, I wanted a Swift, dad wanted a Ritz... He had fallen in love with the looks of the car and also the exclusivity factor (Ritz + Blue Blaze was not too common...)

Finally one fine day he informed me he has booked the Ritz without Test driving and the next day i was in the showroom to have a feel of my future car. Half Heartedly I went out for a TD and soon as I started the K12, even I fell in love with the Ritz + Exclusivity factor sans the rear looks. Later i was told that he still hadn't made the booking but I guess it was already too late to change my Decision.

And since that day there hasn't been even a single regret. Hence i Voted YES... For a few K's less, overall we got a newer product which is also better in build quality than the Swift and is much more roomier and practical.
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Old 20th March 2011, 10:53   #9
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

Voted for No.
Ritz's had the same potential to clock 10k+ sales every month as its elder sibling, Swift.
However, its quirky rear styling, somewhat notchy gearbox and a slew of competitors launches have restricted it to odd 5k+ monthly sales.
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Old 20th March 2011, 11:10   #10
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
1) Voted for Yes.

2) The numbers represent only haft the story. Considering that the powertrain is shared with the hugely successful Swift, its rather good that the car is selling to the tune of 6000 units.

Most of the Ritz sold are petrol and the story is exactly different for Swift IIRC ( correct me if I am wrong ).

Next thing is overlap. There is huge and upto some extent unthinkable overlap in the small car range in Maruti stable. Maruti has time and again stated that they are not worried about one of its product being no.1 in sales chart. Even with cannibalization of sales of one model by another ( from Maruti range only ), if overall sales are higher, MS is happy. I think Ritz exactly did that.

3) I agree that if look are a bit more digestible specially the rear end, Ritz would sell more, but its more than a good package.

I rate Ritz higher than i10 in terms of ride quality, handling and motors. Moreover, maintenance is also a bit cheaper ( from ACI ).

Ritz is one of the most under rated cars in the small car segment along with Beat IMO.

Ritz
You've said it all ! We'll see more and more Ritz in coming years , as it as a mature upgrade from something like a Wagon R . Ritz is somewhat like a grown up Wagon R. And people will appreciate it's strong points and grow upon it's look. Remember, Wagon R too was a slow starter !
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Old 20th March 2011, 11:30   #11
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

Though I found it funny there are lots of people I see who really love the way ritz looks. Even I like the front part of the Ritz.

One thing is Maruti never thought of Ritz replacing the Swift. Meaning there was not supposed to be much Glitz at all in the first place for the Ritz, that being the case, if Ritz garners some market of it own Maruti is always happy.

The way Maruti see Ritz is like this, imagine there are aroun 7K of people buying Ritz and not Swift for some good reason. Either they feel Swift is ageing or Swift is cramped etc. Now with Ritz in thier stable they have managed to lure them too.
Thats all the glitz that Maruti expects out of the Ritz. In that scale, Ritz surely does its job to its expectation.
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Old 20th March 2011, 13:28   #12
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skjlives View Post
I don't mind the rear at all. In fact it is a smaller version of the CRV's back and grows on you eventually.
The problem is not 'the look' of rear from rear, rather the side view (sledgehammered quirky design of tailgate) of it. It has led to reduction in luggage space in already tiny boot, in turn limiting its functionality. In fact none of the Maruti hatch has comparable boot to many other brands in similar price range (Figo, Punto, Fabia, i20, Polo, etc.)


CRV (Image Source:Honda CRV Fan Site - Honda CRV Pictures | Recalls | Problems, New CRV Accessories | Honda CRV 2010 | Reviews | Forums | Service Manual)



Ritz ( Image Source: EVERISE MOTORS)
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Old 20th March 2011, 13:47   #13
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

Ritz is more practical than swift.

The best comparison will be test drive, which I had while making a decision.

My suggestion will be test ride the Ritzy first and then the Swifty. As soon as you get in the Swift after Ritz, you will strongly struggle for room. In comparison, Swift will feel like a tiny car from inside. Period.

I think the Indian buyer is more attracted by how sporty the car looks. Thats why swift is being preferred by the buyer. But i find Ritz more masculine than swift while it approaches you with its muscular front face.

IMHO Ritz has the edge over the swift in almost 80% areas.

Where i10 is considered, after using Santro for around 4 years, im not a big fan of A.S.S. of Hyundai and I wont consider it.
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Old 20th March 2011, 13:53   #14
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Though I found it funny there are lots of people I see who really love the way ritz looks. Even I like the front part of the Ritz.

One thing is Maruti never thought of Ritz replacing the Swift. Meaning there was not supposed to be much Glitz at all in the first place for the Ritz, that being the case, if Ritz garners some market of it own Maruti is always happy.

The way Maruti see Ritz is like this, imagine there are aroun 7K of people buying Ritz and not Swift for some good reason. Either they feel Swift is ageing or Swift is cramped etc. Now with Ritz in thier stable they have managed to lure them too.
Thats all the glitz that Maruti expects out of the Ritz. In that scale, Ritz surely does its job to its expectation.
+1 that is exactly my point in the 3rd post. It was never meant to be a bread butter earner for the MS but instead was just another product to add to the banks of MS.
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Old 20th March 2011, 15:32   #15
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Default Re: Has the Ritz lived up to its Glitz?

The one biggest point for Ritz is its ingress and egress as compared to other guys in the Maruti stable. For that matter alone, I would recommend the car for aged folks. This is first "powerful" tall boy design from Maruti. To that extent alone, what ever number it sells, I think its OK.

But in spite of that, it has an amazing love hate relationship on looks. Even I have mixed reactions on the same. But when behind the wheels, I love the way it drives. Taking the swift off the comparison, I find it much better for a drive compared to i10 (I have driven both and its a personal opinion).
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