Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) launched the all-new version of its premium hatchback Celerio in the country, priced between Rs 4.99 lakh and Rs 6.94 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The manual trims are priced between Rs 4.99 lakh and Rs 6.44 lakh while the AGS (auto gear shift) variants are tagged between Rs 6.13 lakh and Rs 6.94 lakh.
The new Celerio is now bigger than the outgoing model and comes with an updated engine and a host of new safety and convenience features.
The new engine on the new Celerio helps the model deliver a fuel efficiency of 26.68 km per liter, making it the country's most fuel-efficient petrol car.
''India is now fifth largest car market globally and Maruti Suzuki is proud to contribute nearly half of this. We stand committed to taking India to much greater heights. If we have to grow the Indian market further, we have to pay special attention to the volume segment,'' MSI Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Ayukawa told reporters.
Compact cars and entry-level cars form a big volume in India as nearly 46 per cent of the market is hatchbacks, he added.
''It is with this background that we decided to present all-new Celerio to the Indian customer...We are proud to introduce next-generation K10 C engine to the company portfolio with the model,'' Ayukawa noted.
The all-new Celerio with the 999-cc K10 C petrol engine is the most fuel-efficient petrol car in the Indian passenger car segment, he added.
''Our engineers have achieved major fuel efficiency improvement ranging from 15 to 23 per cent across variants over the outgoing Celerio,'' Ayukawa said.
In the following months, many other models will also be equipped with this next-generation K family engine, he added.
Ayukawa noted that the model reinforces the company's commitment to India's focus to lower the carbon footprint and reduce oil imports.
MSI would continue to invest in future technologies to bring down emissions and improve energy efficiency, he added.
Commenting on the market situation, Ayukawa said the second quarter turned out to be another challenging period for the company because of the unprecedented global supply crisis of electronic components.
Industry, at large, witnessed a significant disruption in its production operations but despite all odds, the auto industry progressively moved ahead, he stated.
''While in terms of volume, we may still be much lower than our best of fiscal year 2018-19 but I am confident that together we will attain those levels,'' Ayukawa said.
He further said:''Overall, I feel there may be some supply side constraints in the short term owing to shortage of electronic components. But the medium and long term India story continues to look promising.'' Ayukawa noted that the vaccination drive being undertaken in the country and young aspirational population looking for growth and fulfillment, gives hope for a quick recovery in the market.
''The government has extensively strengthened the road infrastructure across the country. Such a well-connected network is surely a catalyst for our industry. All these factors, make me believe that good growth will soon return to the Indian car market,'' he stated.
On semiconductor shortage issue, Ayukawa noted that situation is expected to improve gradually.
''It is a global issue..we are communicating to business partners.. making efforts to get chips and deliver the cars to customers,'' he added.
MSI Senior Executive Director (Marketing and Sales) Shashank Srivastava said that demand scenario remained quite positive in the PV segment.
Commenting on the new model, he noted that the model would help the company consolidate its position in the hatchback segment where it remains a leader with 66 per cent market share.
''One in two cars sold in the country right now are hatchbacks...Celerio has played a stellar role in enhancing the company's market share in the hatchback segment over the years,'' he added.
The company would also look at bringing a CNG version of the model, Srivastava noted.
MSI has sold over 5.9 lakh Celerio units since its launch in 2014.
The new Celerio comes with 12 new safety features like hill hold assist function with AGS trims.
The model also features a pollen-type AC filter, tilt steering with mounted audio controls, 60:40 split rear seats a height-adjustable driver seat.