In America, a car with an automatic transmission is no big deal. A lot of us can’t even drive a car with a manual shift, and we’ll do okay in life despite that. In India, however, the case is virtually the opposite. According to Wall Street Journal, only 1% of passenger vehicles sold in India have automatic transmissions.
The reason for this is because automatic transmission cars in India are significantly more expensive, and maintenance issues along with low fuel economy make the cars obviously an unattractive buy. Maruti Suzuki India plans to change this perception with the Maruti Celerio.
The Maruti Celerio features an “EZ Drive” which allows a driver to switch between automatic and manual drive. Both versions are similar in fuel economy with close to a 23.1 kilometers a liter, and Suzuki promises that maintenance costs will be very close to the current cars in India. Six different versions of the Celerio will be released with features such as air bags and an anti-lock braking system as well as extras such as alloy wheels, an advanced audio system and Bluetooth Connectivity at an affordable price.
Celerios have to maintain affordability– Indian consumers are pursuing other modes of transportation in an effort to save money. We have to remember that this is a country where some citizens are still able to use carts to transport goods to nearby areas. Urban Indian cities also boast an advanced railway system that that could serve some sufficiently instead of dealing with car expenses. Sales are at a steady decrease and although Maruti holds 41% of Indian car sales, they have only seen a 1.7% increase during the last quarter.
The Maruti Celerio will hit the streets February 6th, and Suzuki began taking orders for the innovative vehicle that may boost the country’s economy this past Friday.
Image via NDN