The Celerio diesel was expected to contribute 20-30 percent of the hatchback’s total sales but the real world sales figures are much lower.
The two-cylinder motor introduced on the Celerio was Suzuki’s first attempt at developing a diesel engine. Having invested Rs. 900 crores in its development, the automaker was optimistic that the oil burner will open new volumes for the hatchback with India being a diesel friendly market along with the petrol and AMT derivatives. However, it now seems the bet hasn’t paid off as expected and the head honchos are now re-strategising to counter the poor sales of the diesel model.
When launched, Maruti expected the diesel motor to contribute 20-30 percent of the Celerio’s total sales. However, the percentage is much lower with buyers opting for the petrol and AMT versions instead. This, despite the fact that the Celerio diesel was until recently the most fuel efficient car in India, till the Ciaz diesel SHVS came along breaking the record. Moreover, the engine offered decent performance for the city and was a peppy unit.
That said, it seems that the poor NVH and refinement levels on the two-cylinder motor in addition to the performance lag on the highways has not been appreciated by customers. Then, there is the premium of Rs. 75,000-80,000/- over the petrol variants. Most importantly though, the negligible difference between petrol and diesel prices have prompted buyers to stick to the cleaner fuel in today’s times. The 0.8-litre twin-cylinder motor on the Celerio diesel produces 47.6 PS of power at 3500 RPM and 125 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM, paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
While the market results are dull, Maruti seems to think otherwise as the company commented that the Celerio diesel’s sales are better than expected with the company planning to ramp up production for the small motor. The automaker is also planning to introduce the diesel mill on the Alto at a later date with an expected fuel efficiency figure of 30 km/l. If this indeed happens, the Alto will be the most affordable diesel car on sale in the country which just might give the needed push to the twin-pot unit that the automaker is looking for.
Source – Team-BHP.com