In the year 1999, Maruti launched a car that would go on to become one of the most popular and widely sold car in India. 20 years down the line, Maruti has brought to the Indian roads, 3 generations of the car and sold over 24 lakh units. The biggest feather in the hat of Maruti is that despite 2 decades full of international automotive brands flexing their muscles in India, Maruti WagonR still features in the list of the top 10 sold cars.
"We are delighted as we celebrate incredible and successful journey of two decades of WagonR. Creating a strong legacy of performance and utility, WagonR has kept pace with the changing times, in line with the needs and aspirations of customers. With one out of four customers of WagonR coming back for a repurchase, it reflects the strong brand appeal and customer affinity for the brand. We have not witnessed such customer loyalty for any of our other models. We thank our customers for their trust towards Wagon R, to make it a huge success. With the new 1.2 litre engine, WagonR has been made more powerful, spacious and stylish, appealing to newer and younger customers. Further, its acceptability is evident with the New WagonR crossing the sales milestone of 1 lakh within 7 months of its launch," Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director (Marketing and Sales), Maruti Suzuki, said.
Maruti WagonR First Generation
Launched in December 1999, Maruti WagonR was the company's answer to Hyundai Santro. For a compact hatch in 1999, the Maruti WagonR had modern features like power steering, power windows, 1.1-liter engine, etc.
In 2003, Maruti introduced a minor facelift of WagonR in 2003 with a chrome biding, body-colored bumpers, clear lens tail lamps, etc. The facelifted WagonR, like its predecessor, received a great response from the Indian public.
WagonR gets LPG
If 2003 was a minor facelift, 2006 was a major facelift. Maruti WagonR was now coming with an LPG fuel option. The new WagonR also had a redesigned nose and the headlamps received a major update in 2006.
The LPG tank was tucked in the boot, which still had space for luggage. The WagonR gave a mileage of 14 km/kg which was appreciated by the public. 2 other updates in the car were driver airbag and ABS.
WagonR Second Generation
The Second Generation WagonR was launched in 2010. The car got a smaller engine of 1-litre which produced 58 ps of power. The second generation WagonR also featured company fitted CNG fuel option.
This is the point where Maruti came up with the effective ad campaign -- 'kitna deti hai?'
In 2013, Maruti launched the boldest looking WagonR yet, Stingray was the flagship variant of the WagonR. It got the all-new chrome finish grille, projector headlamps, gunmetal grey alloys, all black interiors, tilt adjustable leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio controls and electrically adjustable OVRM.
In 2017, Stingray was renamed as Wagonr VXi+. The Stingray badge was dropped while the features remained the same.
The Big WagonR
Fast-forwarding to 2019, Maruti's latest-gen WagonR is leaps ahead of its preceding generations. Yet, like the models over the years, WagonR has remained a constant feature in India's top 10 selling cars list.
Another reason for the success of Maruti WagonR is that the brand never increased the price out of proportion. The price of the WagonR today is not much different from the price of the WagonR 10 years ago. The Indian public has a certain trust in Maruti's cars and years of relationship with these cars mean that customers will go out to buy the latest WagonR.