Despite occasionally producing some excellent sedans, Suzuki has never really been a sedan company. The company has struggled to find success in important markets around the world, particularly with its medium or more expensive cars, despite maintaining a strong & dominant position with its small cars in Japan, India, Pakistan, and some Southeast Asian markets.
If we look at the past, some popular sedans in our region include the Margalla (Swift Sedan/ Esteem), Baleno sedan, Liana, and Kizashi, all survived for a few years before being written off in history with no replacement whatsoever. However, it’s quite likely that the Ciaz, which happens to be the company’s most popular sedan yet, will suffer the same fate.
When it first came out, the Suzuki Ciaz sedan was practically the market leader in its category. However, the company never updated the sedan and literally forgot about updating it. Launched in 2014, the Ciaz has been on the market for over 9 years now, but despite having a successful early years period, sales are currently underwhelming. It has already been discontinued in most markets (including Pakistan) but remains on sale in India and a few other markets where it sits at the very bottom of sales charts. In Middle Eastern markets, it was also marketed as the Toyota Belta, but it hasn’t been very successful there either.
The main issue with the Suzuki Ciaz is time, which never stops and demands constant improvements and innovations. As competitors have adopted newer car generation models with better fuel efficiency, better safety, better emissions, and better overall performance, the Suzuki Ciaz, which is now a decade-old model, is too dated to compete against its modern rivals.
Suzuki introduced a facelifted version of Ciaz in 2018, almost 4 years after it was introduced in India. But the facelift began reaching other markets in 2019/20, that’s almost 6 years after launch and is generally when an automaker replaces a generation model after having introduced a facelift after a 3-year period. By the time the facelift was introduced in other markets, the Ciaz was already out of the race as rivals had leapfrogged.
Look at it this way, when launched Ciaz was up against the likes of 6th gen City (pre-facelift), and Hyundai Verna (4th gen). This means the Suzuki Ciaz has seen its rivals changing faces & shapes & tech 3 times while it has remained virtually unchanged. Suzuki is still dragging the car primarily in the Indian market but despite being the lowest-priced option in the market, the sales remain unimpressive.
There is no replacement of Ciaz in sight. As per Suzuki’s tradition, they never introduce a new generation model of its sedans (as it does with Swift or other hatchbacks) but kill a nameplate before introducing a newer one. What will be the replacement for the Ciaz sedan, or will there be any? As so far there is not even a hint of any development in Suzuki’s camp regarding a new sedan.
Ciaz was introduced in Pakistan as a CBU-imported feature-ripped option in 2017. But Pak Suzuki discontinued it within a few years due to poor sales. Still, with the sort of options we currently have in the B-segment (6th gen City and obsolete Yaris), it can still be a very good addition to our market as a locally assembled sedan. However, if Suzuki officially discontinues this car in global markets, there is a chance Pak Suzuki might introduce the Ciaz in Pakistan as our country is best known for welcoming globally retired cars.
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