Maruti's latest offering the Celerio hatchback, like most of its products, is proving popular, especially with the added advantage of automated manual transmission (AMT). However, if you're one of the many considering booking one, you will have to wait quite a while.
According to R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, you are likely to get delivery only next year. Over the past week, the waiting period for the popular Celerio with AMT has crept up to seven-eight months and beyond from the earlier six months.
Favourable consumer feedback and word of mouth, particularly on drive comfort, seems to be a major reason for the growing demand for the car. The competitive pricing – under Rs. 5 lakh for the automatic version – is another draw, says Rishit Puri, sales manager at the South Delhi-based Rana Motors. It is believed that prospective buyers of the AMT Celerio are game to shell out a premium for the car if they can get immediate delivery, failing which some have started cancelling their bookings. At present, about 5-6 percent cancellations have been reported at this outlet with customers preferring to opt for the Maruti Swift or Ritz petrol instead.
Rana Motors has seen 115 bookings of the AMT Celerio since its launch in February 2014 with deliveries of only seven units made so far. Even the MT Celerio ZXi version with airbags and alloy wheels is witnessing a four-month waiting period while other MT Celerios have a maximum of a one-month wait. The total demand for AMT Celerios has risen to 50 percent of the total 36,000 bookings so far. This far exceeds the sales projection of the carmaker, which had estimated sales of the AMT version to be in the 25-30 percent range.
S Maitra, COO (Supply Chain), Maruti Suzuki India, had earlier told our sister publication Autocar Professional that the automatic gearshift system is supplied by one overseas supplier (Magneti Marelli of Italy) which is experiencing difficulty increasing capacity to match the fast-rising demand for the Celerio. But within a year, Magneti Marelli plans to shift its AMT production to Manesar in India where it already had its operations in Maruti’s supplier’s park. Thereafter, AMT production would get streamlined especially as many future models of Maruti Suzuki are likely to be fitted with AMT.