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Maruti to roll out Celerio

Growth mode

New Delhi, Jan. 13: Maruti Suzuki India is all set to launch small car Celerio next month.

The car, which will offer two transmission choices — automatic and manual — is going to replace the A-Star.

Company sources said the Celerio’s automated manual transmission (AMT) technology would make the automatic model more fuel-efficient than the manual one. The automatic version of the Celerio has a mileage of 20-22 km per litre, 5 per cent more than the manual car.

“This will be the first market in which Suzuki wi ll be showcasing and selling the AMT technology. The engines have been developed after extensive research and we hope it becomes a benchmark for the segment,” an industry insider said.

He added that the company might keep the price of the Celerio below Rs 4 lakh for the manual version. The automatic variant may cost a lakh more. Sources said the dimensions of the small car are similar to the A-Star but could have a slightly better head and legroom.

At present, the small car will only come with a petrol engine. At a later stage, the CNG and LPG variants will be introduced.

Maruti is not the only one pitching for the automatic engine. Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL), which recently launched the new City, said the automatic engine was more fuel-efficient and offered a great riding experience.

“While the manual City gives an efficiency of 17.8kmpl, the automatic gives a mileage of 18kmpl. This makes the automatic not just more efficient than the manual but the most efficient petrol auto on sale in India today,” HCIL senior vice-president (marketing and sales) Jnaneswar Sen said.

Maruti hopes that the Celerio will click both with the urban and rural customers. Last year, rural sales helped India’s largest car maker to wade through a tough year. Between April and November, the company sold about 2 lakh cars, or 30 per cent of its total volume in the rural markets.

Car companies are trying to reach the remotest of villages to cater to the demand for not only small cars and SUVs but also semi-premium and premium sedans.