Photography: Mohd. Nasir
Suzuki Ltd will have to grin and bear the huge capacity constraint it is facing
for the recently launched Celerio model. At least for the time being. While currently there are around
28,000 pending bookings for the car and the number rising by the day, the
company is currently able to manufacture around 4000 to 4500 vehicles a month.
Out of this capacity, only 1000 is slotted for automatics and the rest for the
According to highly placed
sources, the company will only be able to ramp up capacity to around 6500 per
month for the Celerio and that too by June-July 2014. As of now, of the current
booking level of 28,000 Celerio cars, 14,000 are for automatics and 14,000 for
manual version, said the source. The huge demand for the automatic Celerio has
taken the Japanese car major by surprise. Generally, the Indian market for
automatics is a mere 2pc to 3pc of the total sales, but in the case of the
Maruti Celerio, it’s 50pc by today’s bookings levels.
But what is scarier for the
company is that the surging demand for the Celerio could also backfire in a
way. “Salesmen at the dealer end, eager to sell the Maruti Celerio manual model
may start to discourage customers from buying the automatic and may even talk
against it. At the end of the day, it’s a sale that matters, whether it comes
from a manual or an automatic. This prospect seems quite disturbing,” said a
company official on condition of anonymity.
Maruti had in February 2014 launched
its small compact car, Celerio, with the revolutionary Auto Gear Shift. With
fuel efficiency same as the manual transmission, the Auto Gear Shift was christened
EZ Drive. Interestingly, Auto Gear Shift on the Celerio is a first for India
amongst passenger cars. The car was launched n four variants LXi, Vxi, Zxi and
The introductory prices, ex
showroom Delhi, for the manual version starts at Rs 3.90 lakh while for the
automatic version it starts at Rs 4.29 lakh. The prices: Manual --LXi Rs
3.90, VXi- Rs 4.20 lakh, ZXi Rs 4.5o lakh, ZXi (optional) Rs 4.96 lakh. The
prices for the automatic: LXi Rs 4.29 lakh and VXi Rs 4.59.
Among several benefits, Celerio
comes with a best in class fuel efficiency of 23.1 kmpl, for both, Auto Gear
Shift and the Manual Transmission variants.