As if to spice things up this weekend, Maruti-Suzuki released Friday a sketch of the upcoming, third-generation Dzire sedan. Yes, this time, the car might not get the 'Swift' prefix given the fact that the Dzire nameplate has clearly established itself as a force to reckon with in the industry.
For the folks at Maruti-Suzuki, the teaser might just be a part of the pre-launch build-up leading to the actual launch in May. For the competition though, this is nothing but an official warning urging them to be prepared for an impending assault in the compact sedan segment.
Few cars have dominated their segments the way Swift Dzire has. Ever since it's launch in 2008, the Swift Dzire has been India's largest-selling car that's not a hatchback. Maruti-Suzuki have been selling more Swift Dzires than all it's competitors combined every month over the last few years. Rivals tried every trick in the trade to snatch sales and market share - Honda shoe-horned a more powerful diesel engine in the Amaze, Hyundai offered more features and a comfortable rear seat in the Xcent, Tata redefined space and value for money with the Zest, Ford brought in safety features unheard of in the segment with the Figo Aspire and Volkswagen joined the party with the famed 'German' build and solidity in the Ameo, but the Swift Dzire continued unabated. In fact, since 2014, only the Alto sells more than the Swift Dzire if you look at the annual sales charts.
Interestingly, the Swift Dzire accomplished the feat despite being butt-ugly. The Swift was such a good-looking car but it was designed to be a hatchback. Maruti-Suzuki's idea of forcing a boot on to the Swift's butt didn't look like a good idea when the car's pictures were first released. The Dzire wasn't looking desirable! But then, the car launched and silenced nay-sayers by becoming a massive hit with the masses. Sales zoomed past 100,000 units within two years of launch and kept increasing year over year.
The second-generation came in 2012. This time, the car was designed to accommodate a boot grounds up, which meant it wasn't as shock-inducing as it's predecessor. Still, the 4-meter length restriction meant that the Swift Dzire still looked as if it was rear-ended when rolling off the line at Manesar. The car was still not as feature-loaded as it's rivals and Maruti-Suzuki were still depending on Fiat for the 1.3-liter diesel engine. But the car-buying public cared the least. Sales hit through the roof and the Swift Dzire massacred competition with cumulative sales crossing 1 million units in 2015.
The teaser pic and the spy-shots floating around in the internet has all but confirmed that the third-generation Dzire is a genuinely good-looking car. For the first time ever, the car's boot looks well-integrated and doesn't look like an afterthought. The profile is well-designed with lines inspired by the more-expensive Baleno and Ciaz. That's half the battle won already. If the recent launches from Maruti-Suzuki are any indication, expect the all-new Dzire to be fully loaded as well with an assortment of engine and transmission options being offered.
A good-looking Dzire with segment-leading features and technology isn't exactly what the competition wants right now. But, that's precisely what is on the way from Maruti-Suzuki. It's time for Honda, Hyundai, Tata, Ford and Volkswagen to run for cover. The undisputed king of compact sedans is back, this time with no potential chink in it's armour!