Bookings for the Maruti Suzuki Celerio hatchback have crossed the 32,000 mark in just a month and half of the car’s launch in India. Clearly, Maruti Suzuki didn’t anticipate this demand given the low volumes that cars such as the Estilo and A-Star were doing. Notably, the Celerio is a replacement to the A-Star and the Estilo, both of which have been discontinued. Demand has been particularly strong for the automated manual transmission (AMT) equipped LXi and VXi variants of the Celerio, with nearly 50 % of the bookings for the AMT equipped variants.
With Magneti Marelli, an Italian autoparts makes owned by the Fiat group, supplying the AMT, Maruti Suzuki’s lack of demand anticipation has meant that the AMT versions of the Celerio command long waiting periods. To get around this situation, the car maker has planned to double Celerio production, from the current 5,000 units/month to 10,000 units/month. The car maker is said to be in talks with vendors to secure additional supplies for the production boost. The Celerio rolls out of Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar factory at Haryana.
The Manesar factory used to produce the A-Star hatchback and the capacity unlocked by the discontinuation of the A-Star will be used to accommodate the additional production for the Celerio. The Celerio is powered by a 1 liter-3 cylinder K-Series petrol engine that outputs 67 Bhp-90 Nm. Known for its peppy nature, this engine gets a 5 speed manual gearbox as standard while the 5 speed semi-automatic (AMT) gearbox is offered as an option. The Celerio is sold in six variants, four with manual and two with AMT gearbox options.
Maruti Suzuki has plans of adding the AMT technology to many more cars in its line up. The Alto K10 and the WagonR, two cars that use the 1 liter, K-Series petrol engine, will hop on to the AMT bandwagon in a year’s time. The upcoming Ciaz sedan is also touted to get AMT variants. Eventually, even Maruti Suzuki’s diesel powered cars could take the AMT route given the semi-automatic transmissions lower cost and better fuel efficiency when compared to a conventional torque converter automatic gearbox.