Pak Suzuki is all set to launch the Celerio hatchback in Pakistan replacing the 1000cc Cultus. The Celerio will be called as New Cultus since Pak Suzuki doesn’t want to take risk of launching an entirely new product with an entirely new name in the market.
Unlike most Suzukis that were introduced in Pakistan once getting retired from the rest of the world, the Celerio aka New Cultus is one of the few Suzuki vehicles to be launched in our country when the car is available for sale elsewhere.
Related: New Cultus- What To Expect?
The Celerio is also considered as a successful product in other markets, unlike Suzuki Liana which was a global disaster. However the good thing about the New Cultus is that the car will come with loads of features not offered with any locally assembled Pak Suzuki vehicle ever.
The New Cultus will be offered in two trims, the VXR and VXL. Both versions are nicely equipped too. This will be the first time that a locally assembled Suzuki will come equipped with Airbags, the VXR will come with driver airbag, while the VXL will offer both driver & front passenger airbags. The ABS has also been offered with the VXL however the VXR comes without one.
It is also worth mentioning that Immobilizer has been given as standard equipment in both the variants. Other key features worth mentioning are Tilt Adjustable Power Steering, All 4 Power Windows, Tachometer, Integrated Digital Information Cluster with Fuel Consumption & Distance to Empty Indication, Key-off Headlight Reminder, Central Locking, Remote Door Locks and Bluetooth Audio & Call function etc. Further details can be found in the brochure attached.
According to unofficial sources the price of the New Cultus will be around PKR 12.5 lac at max so considering the features the car offers it seems a very good buy and does have the potential to become an instant hit. However this does mean problems for the other two hatchbacks Pak Suzuki sells, the Wagon R and the Swift, let’s see why?
Against the Wagon R
Pak Suzuki Wagon-R replaced the 1000cc Alto in 2014 and while average sales of Suzuki Alto were well above 11,000 units per year when it was discontinued in 2012 (sold 13,4011 units in 12 years– pama.org.pk), the Wagon-R however sold just 1,621 units in 2013-14 and 5,246 units in 2014-15 but improved in its third year of production by selling more than 9,000 units. Despite under production for almost 4 years now, the annual sales of Wagon-R is yet to exceed the number of Alto sold in a year.
The prime factor for this is the way Wagon R looks, it has the most undesirable appearance of a hatchback with narrow body, tall height and tiny wheels. Though the car is light in pocket in terms of fuel consumption, but people don’t really want to go for it.
Secondly the Wagon R is under equipped compared to its international siblings, for the sake of comparison Maruti Suzuki WagonR comes in 8 variants with 1 engine and 2 transmission and 2 fuel options. Features worth mentioning which are not offered with the top-of-the-line PakSuzuki WagonR VXL in Pakistan are Driver & Passenger airbags, all 4 power windows, ABS brakes, Automatic transmission and Power outside mirrors.
Considering price of Wagon R which is close to PKR 1.1 million (VXL) it offers very little compared to what New Cultus offers. So anyone willing to spend PKR 1.1 million on Wagon R can add another 100 thousand to go for the New Cultus which is much better looking, fuel efficient and better equipped vehicle.
Against the Swift
The Swift (2nd generation) which Pak Suzuki is selling us was launched globally in 2004 and was discontinued in 2010. The time when Pak Suzuki introduced this 2nd gen Swift in Pakistan back in 2010, the world had already received the 3rd gen Swift.
In December 2016 the 4th generation Suzuki Swift was unveiled and concurrently launched in Japan. The global-spec 4th gen Suzuki Swift has made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017.
The Pak Suzuki Swift is currently a 13 year old vehicle with unimpressive sales figures in Pakistan. The average sales of Swift are just around 350 units a month, comparing it with other Suzuki hatchbacks, the old Cultus sold at an average of 1700 units in a month, Wagon R with average 1,600 units a month and Mehran with average 3,500 units a month, the sales of Swift indeed look hopeless.
The fuel consumption is also a matter of concern while the M13A engine which is in excess of 1300cc results in a higher tax and a higher on-road cost. On the other hand the New Cultus is equipped with a modern 998cc DOHC 12-Valve K10B engine. The Celerio (international) boasts a claimed fuel economy of 23 liters in a kilometer. And with an engine displacement just under 1000cc would mean lower taxes and lower on-road price.
New Cultus boasts an impressive boot space of 254 liters which is actually more than the space available in the Swift so it’s quite practical too. The rear seat can also be folded which doubles the luggage space.
The New Cultus is a modern vehicle with sophisticated engine technology, fresh look, better fuel economy and better equipped than the 13 year old Swift which offers less than the New Cultus. Those 350 Swift buyers will save more than a 100 thousand and will get a lot more by opting for the New Cultus.
Pak Suzuki is finally on the right move to update their vehicle lineup in the country. After the launch of imported Vitara SUV and Ciaz sedan, the launch of New Cultus does indicate that the company is serious in maintaining their position in the low-end passenger car market. The formal launch of the vehicle will be held on 22nd April 2017, so stay tuned to CarSpiritPK for more updates on the New Cultus launch.
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