Maruti Suzuki Swift hatchback receives the Car of the Year Award by Overdrive

Monday 12 December 2011, 15:49 PM by

As a host of big names in the auto industry were intensely competing to grab awards in 13 categories, one car maker clearly overshadowed and stole the show, counting on its strongest contender currently. Maruti Suzuki, India's largest car company earned yet another laurel as its ace hatchback, Swift was presented with the King of the Road award by Overdrive.

An event was organised in New Delhi, wherein the CNBC-TV18 Overdrive Awards were given away to the auto industry players for various categories. Adjudging Maruti Swift as the recipient for the biggest prize of all was always on the cards, albeit some of the largest auto brands were a part of the competition.

Among the contenders were brands like Hyundai Sonata Embera, Ford Fiesta and Skoda Laura. However, irrespective of the strong line-up, the most coveted award of Car of the Year was handed out to Maruti Swift.

The top ranking cars went through a host of stringent tests and were invigilated by a panel of car experts including Auto Designer Dilip Chabria, Editor Autocar India Hormazd Sorabjee and Associate Editor Autocar India Shapur Kotwal. In addition, National Rally Champion Naren Kumar, Auto Historian Manvendra Singh and former Rally Champion Renuka Kirpalani were a part of the panel.

Eligibility and criteria emerged as the two most focussed upon aspects while various vehicles were ranked on agility, role played in the Indian markets, price, style, design, interiors, transmission, riding experience, fuel economy, safety and handling.

Maruti Swift managed to tick the sales figures to 140,000 units, allowing it to subjugate 32 per cent of the market last year. Following the high-end performance, the popular hatchback held the 4th spot among the largest selling cars in the industry. The top three positions have been acquired by Maruti Alto, Hyundai i10 and Wagon R.

However, going deeper into the statistics, one can realise that the past two years journey has not been plain for the leader of the hatchback. It is because few highly competent forces have made their way to the hatchback segment in the recent past. Ford, which brought in the Figo last year, planned to use price as its primary tool by offering the vehicle at an aggressive price of Rs. 3.69 lacs.

Maruti Suzuki Swift hatchback receives the Car of the Year Award by Overdrive | CarTrade.com
Maruti New Swift Vxi

Moreover, it is irrefutably the cheapest car in the hatchback category of the Indian auto market. Also, it comes out to be at least Rs. 40,000 cheaper as against the price of Maruti Swift. It is important to note that the approach adopted by Ford worked wonders for the company. Figo has already taken 15 per cent of the market share in this segment under its belt. The Volkswagen’s Polo, rolled-out in February last year, also proved its mettle in the market by selling-off 3,000 units every month and ruling over 7 per cent market.

Thus, it is mandatory for the Maruti Suzuki to keep the Swift's momentum going, in order to register great numbers in the coming time too.