The Maruti Suzuki Dzire sells more than 16,000 units a month. It is the only sedan to feature amongst the top ten highest selling cars in India for a month. Maruti launched the second generation Dzire earlier this year but the surprise was that the manufacturer has designed the Dzire to fit the under 4 meter length requirement to take benefit from the additional excise cut. The success of the Dzire has demonstrated that Indians are ready to spend a premium just to get the comfort of a sedan even though for a lesser price they are getting the same space in a hatch.
Tata Motors now wants to cash in on this growing segment and for the last year we have known that Tata is planning to launch a sub 4 meter version of the Manza. We now hear that the Manza eCS would be launched in the middle of 2013 and would be priced around 70,000 to 80,000 lower than the regular Manza. The compact version of the Manza is expected to fill the gap between the Tata Indigo eCS and the Tata Manza.
The demand for entry level sedans is growing by the day and car makers are designing their cars to make use of the low excise duty levied on the cars measuring less than four meters. These cars have to use petrol engines below 1.2-litres and the diesel engines need to be 1.5-litres or less. Cars falling under this category attract an excise duty of 10% as compared to longer cars which are burdened with 22%.
The Manza eCS would use a shorter boot but will retain the same wheelbase and interiors. This version of the Manza will use the same 1.3-litre Multijet diesel motor which develops 90PS while the petrol variant will be the 1.2-litre SAFIRE unit from the Indica Xeta that delivers 65PS.
Tata was expected to launch the sub 4 meter Manza in 2012 but all indications are that the launch would not happen till the middle of next year. Tata currently sells the Indigo eCS which is also a sub 4 meter sedan and is based on the Indigo sedan. Prices for the Indigo eCS start from just over Rs4,50,000 and the prices for the Manza start from a little under Rs5,50,000. The sub 4 meter version of theManza we expect would be priced between these two.