Maruti launches Celerio diesel at Rs 4.65 lakh

Maruti Suzuki on Wednesday launched the diesel variant of its 14-month-old Celerio hatchback at an entry price of Rs 4.65 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The top-end diesel model of Celerio will sell for Rs 5.71 lakh. The variant, however, will not have the auto gear shift option available in the petrol version.

Celerio’s diesel engine (793cc) is the smallest in the market and claims to offer 27.62 km a litre. Some other hatchbacks that sport a diesel engine are the Chevrolet Beat, Ford Figo and Tata Indica. Maruti also sells its Ritz hatchback with a diesel variant and Swift also has options in diesel.

Maruti is banking upon the mileage that Celerio has to offer. “Indian customers have been looking for diesel variants of small car. The Celerio diesel offers record fuel efficiency and is India’s most fuel-efficient car,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and chief executive officer of Maruti Suzuki. The Celerio will be available in six colours.

The engine of Celerio is the first diesel engine to be developed by Suzuki Motor Corporation (owner of Maruti) at an investment of Rs 900 crore, said C V Raman, executive director (engineering). “Indians love diesel cars. About 20 per cent of prospective buyers surveyed by us said they would love to own one, irrespective of the price,” he added.

Diesel sells at a discount to petrol (primarily because of lower government taxes), though it is a more polluting fuel. Diesel sells at Rs 52.28 a litre in the capital, a discount of 21 per cent compared with petrol that retails at Rs 66.29. The Narendra Modi-led government has deregulated diesel prices and allowed it to move in line with the market. Launched in February 2014, about 96,000 units of Celerio (petrol & CNG variants) have been sold.