If you are planning to buy a Maruti Zen, don’t

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: The country's biggest car-maker, Maruti, is taking buyers for a right royal ride by keeping them in the dark on the status of the Zen.

Officially, all that Maruti has said so far is that it will phase out the Zen in due course, and that a new version in a new body will come out, later if not sooner.

But, in reality, the production of Zen has stopped, and  dealers, out of ignorance or connivance, are only helping exhaust the existing inventory of unsold Zens.

Result: buyers are being sold what in American marketing parlance is called a "lemon".

In other words, Maruti is selling Zen buyers a car whose market value is far below what they are paying, and whose resale value is even lower.

An almost similar strategy was followed by General Motors vis-a-vis the Opel Corsa. The model was marketed and sold when the company had long since stopped production.

The word in Delhi is that the Maruti Wagon R too is on its way out because the Zen replacement is likely to be called MR Wagon minus the tallboy look the Wagon R currently sports.

So, if you are planning to drive home a Zen, take our advice: don't.