Pak Suzuki will launch Celerio in March 2017, Cultus to make exit

Published: December 21, 2016

KARACHI: Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC) – the country’s largest car manufacturer with over 50% market share – has decided to launch the standard model of Suzuki Celerio in March 2017, confirmed a company official Tuesday.

A formal announcement, according to reports circulating on social media and Suzuki Pakistan’s official Facebook page, is likely to be made by the company today (Wednesday).

Pak Suzuki will launch Celerio in March 2017, Cultus to make exit

“We are confident that the government will provide some incentives to us under the new auto policy. Therefore, the company has decided to launch its standard model of Celerio in March 2017,” a company official said on condition of anonymity.

Celerio is a 1,000cc engine car that Pak Suzuki plans to replace with Suzuki Cultus, a model it launched in year 2000 that replaced Suzuki Khyber.

This brings a complete shift in company’s earlier stated policy in which it said that all its new investments plans are contingent on the government offering the same incentives it was offering to new entrants in the Automotive Development Policy 2016-21.

All other variants of Celerio and car models will be launched from the company’s new plant that it plans to establish, provided the government allows similar incentives like the new entrants, the company official added.

Based on the earlier policy, the company in October flatly denied that it was launching any new model in the next two years. However, the top management of the company has again met with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and people close to the matter say that he has given some kind of hope to the three existing carmakers.

Pak Suzuki has been requesting the government to provide it with similar incentives to the ones offered to new entrants so that it establishes its new Greenfield plant with an investment of over $430 million. However, the government was unimpressed until now.

The Express Tribune announced the company’s intention to launch two new variants in the local market last year; the announcement was made by the Suzuki Global Head during a meeting with the Minister for Industries.

In 2015, the company also revealed details that the two new models would take up around $110 million of the total investment of $430 million planned by the company. The rest would be spent in setting up the manufacturing plant for spare parts.

Pak Suzuki says no launch of new model for 2 years

However, at the time, the company had specifically stated that the investment was conditioned on incentives.

Pak Suzuki, listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange as PSMC, was trading at Rs390.97 per share at the start of July. It has now gone up to Rs586.99 per share, up massively by over 50%, outperforming the KSE-100 index that has increased by 24.3% during the same time.

Suzuki Motor Company Global Head Kinji Saito met Federal Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi in December last year, where he, along with Suzuki’s other top officials, urged the government to offer the same incentives it was offering to new entrants.

The government, however, had not offered any major incentives to the existing top three carmakers because it was hoping to attract new automobile manufacturers.

The new policy was approved after a hiatus of almost two and a half years and offered tax incentives to new entrants to help them establish manufacturing units and compete with the three well-entrenched assemblers.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2016.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • FAZ
    Dec 21, 2016 - 9:32AM

    The Suzuki Celerio scored 3 of 5 stars when tested by Euro NCAP in 2014 and 4 of 5 by ANCAP in 2015.[14][15] ANCAP and Euro NCAP received criticism claiming they underscored the Celerio relative to other cars that had fewer airbags or performed worse in crash tests.

    The India version of the Celerio was awarded zero stars by the Global NCAP after a test conducted in May 2016.[17] The basic version of the Celerio in India does not include airbags and the body shell of the vehicle was rated by the Global NCAP as “unstable”.Recommend

  • omar
    Dec 21, 2016 - 10:05AM

    Suzuki is interested in maintaining monopoly and is against level playing field to discourage new investors. Recommend

  • Car Enthusiast
    Dec 21, 2016 - 10:22AM

    The India version of the Celerio was awarded zero stars by the Global NCAP after a test conducted in May 2016.[17] The basic version of the Celerio in India does not include airbags and the body shell of the vehicle was rated by the Global NCAP as “unstable”.

  • wasim
    Dec 21, 2016 - 10:46AM

    Please don’t give incentive to Pak Suzuki.. they are behaving like they will do biggest favor by introducing new models in market… while it is competition that keeps companies releasing new models… allow the new companies to enter with incentive and Suzuki will be forced to replace obsolete models.Recommend

  • OSD
    Dec 21, 2016 - 11:18AM

    Honda Atlas has launched new models without incentives and Toyota Indus has launched new models without incentives. Why should we give Suzuki any incentives to launch a replacement for a model which was discontinued 20 years ago in the rest of the world??Recommend

  • Ravian
    Dec 21, 2016 - 11:40AM

    Japanese car makers continue to rip off Pakistanis. It is time that Europeans are ushered in to create some competition. Recommend

  • PK
    Dec 21, 2016 - 12:41PM

    for god sake stop looting Pakistani people. swift 2014 model is worth 4.7 lacs in japan while here we are forced to pay 13 lacs. Recommend

  • FAZ
    Dec 21, 2016 - 1:00PM

    Pakistan is the only country where it seems making people fool is so much easy. Celerio is powered by the same 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol engine as Alto, with 50kW of power and 90Nm of torque. This accounts for roughly 67hp of power which is pathetic in this range considering the other models that have far superior engines. Consider FAW V2 which gives 96hp of power. Though it is 1.3ltr but has same fuel consumption as Alto aka CelerioRecommend

  • Ehs
    Dec 21, 2016 - 2:50PM

    This is good news but I hope the Celerio launches with Airbags and proper features.

    Other globally obsolete vehicles such as Mehran, Bolan, Ravi, and Swift must also be replaced. The are discontinued in all other countries except Pakistan.Mehran was pulled out of Japanese and European markets back in 1988.

    Pakistan must enforce automotive safety standards as well so that unsafe cars are not produced locally.Recommend

  • Ehs
    Dec 21, 2016 - 2:57PM

    New assembler incentives should not be given to Suzuki under any circumstances.

    If the sole small car assembler which has a monopoly is given incentives, it will block investment by new assemblers and harm the economy immensely.

    If govt gives Paksuzuki preferential treat, the following disadvantages will be faced:-
    1. New assemblers wont enter
    2. Inconsistency in policy discourages investment
    3. Competition will not be created
    4. New jobs will and manufacturing unit will not be created.

    For Pakistan’s benefit, new assemblers must be given further incentives to enter.Recommend

  • fahim
    Dec 21, 2016 - 5:42PM

    If price tag is 1.5 million, why not buy honda cityRecommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 22, 2016 - 8:57AM

    The real questions:
    Why does Pakistan want obsolete cars to be partially/fully assembled in Pakistan for local consumption instead of just allowing import of quality vehicles from abroad without unnecessary local assembly?
    Whose palms are greased in Pakistan to require local production of obsolete cars THAT CANNOT BE LEGALLY SOLD ANYWHERE ELSE?Recommend

  • xxc
    Mar 22, 2017 - 1:56AM

    @PK: pfRecommend

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