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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Maruti hikes Celerio AMT output, looks to cut waiting period

PTI   July 27, 2014
First Published: 15:19 IST(27/7/2014) | Last Updated: 15:21 IST(27/7/2014)

Country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is looking to increase the supply of auto gear shift version of its latest compact hatchback Celerio to reduce the waiting period that currently stands at about four months.

Since its launch in February, the company has so far received bookings for over 57,800 units of Celerio, out of which 43% (25,000) are units with automated manual transmission (AMT) technology.

"We continue to try and increase the supply of the auto gear shift (Celerio) cars," a spokesperson of MSI told PTI.

MSI had increased monthly production of Celerio with AMT option to 6,500 units now from about 4,500 units when it was launched.

Almost 7,000 units of Celerio AMT have been retailed so far, while for the manual transmission variant the sales stood at 22,000 units, the spokesperson said.

On the waiting period, he said it would be around four months for the Celerio AMT but none for the manual transmission version, except for some variants which could be around eight weeks.

The company has been hampered by supply constraints of the AMT sourced from Italy's auto component major Magneti Marelli, which plans to shift its AMT production to MSI's supplier's park at Manesar in India in about a year's time.

The Celerio with AMT is currently priced at Rs. 4.14 lakh and Rs. 4.43 lakh, while the manual transmission models (four) are priced between Rs. 3.76 lakh and Rs. 4.78 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

In May, the company expanded the range with the launch of a CNG variant, priced at Rs. 4.68 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

With Celerio, MSI has worked on addressing three key issues associated with automatic transmission cars high cost of acquisition, low fuel economy and maintenance hassles.

Traditionally the automatic transmission variant of small cars in India have not been successful and accounted for only about one% of the market.

MSI had estimated the AMT version of its model to account for about 25% of the sales but has been overwhelmed with demand of almost double the estimation.

Celerio is pitched against the likes of Hyundai's Grandi10 and Honda's Brio. Their automatic versions are priced at Rs. 5.90 lakh and Rs. 5.99 lakh, respectively (ex-showroom, Delhi).


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