Pak Suzuki has launched the much awaited Celerio hatchback in Pakistan last night. Rebadged as New Cultus, the car was meant to be the first within the reach of masses in terms of pricing.
Since the new Auto Policy was announced, most of the cars launched in our market were priced well beyond the reach of general public. Cultus however was one car that was extremely popular among the middle-class and despite being an outdated vehicle, sold well at an average of approximately 1,700 units a month with a price tag touching PKR 12 lac.
Since Pak Suzuki was already selling a car from the 90s for PKR 12 lac it was obvious that a modern hatchback like Celerio will be priced well above the old Cultus. However Pak Suzuki has once again disappointed us with an outrageous price tag PKR 13.91 lac for the Cultus VXL trim, although the VXR is still priced at PKR 12.5 lac.
The main question is that whether Celerio is really that much expensive in other markets? Should a car which is considered a modern & practical yet low budget economy hatchback in the rest of the world priced at PKR 13.9 lac in our country? Even when the vehicle is being assembled locally and not imported as in case of Vitara and Ciaz.
For the sake of comparison we decided to look at the other side of the border to find out how much does the Celerio really cost there? In India Maruti Suzuki Celerio comes in 14 versions with 1 engine, 2 transmission and 2 fuel options. Astonishingly the base LXi version starts from just INR 4.2 lac which converts into PKR 6.67 lac. The most expensive top of the line ZXi AMT cost INR 5.43 lac which is equal to just PKR 8.63 lac.
The Maruti Celerio ZXi AMT offers an automatic gear shift technology called EZ Drive, it comes without a clutch pedal & is basically a manual transmission with a transmission control unit (TCU) that actuates the hydraulics to shift the gears. Although in terms of specifications the local Cultus VXL is well equipped and apart from the AMT transmission, Pak Suzuki hasn’t taken away much from this car. Still in this day and age the New Cultus is way expensive for what a car of this class should cost.
We do believe that the New Cultus VXR will be a good seller, but it takes a lot of courage to go for the PKR 13.91 lac VXL version. Considering the prices of these cars in competition driven markets makes us realize how much extra we have been paying for low-spec under equipped vehicles. Are you satisfied with the New Cultus pricing? Cast your vote and let us know with your comments.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com