In this episode of SWOT Analysis, we use the concepts of management theories to review the Maruti Suzuki Celerio 2021, based on its strengths, weaknesses and find opportunities for the manufacturer’s to make the Celerio better & the threat it faces from its rivals.
Let us answer a question that’s been frequently asked about the Celerio & Wagon R. That both are similarly priced, with similar features and similar engines. Then why does the Celerio even exist ?
Well, The Wagon R has always resonated with a ‘family car image’, which youngsters generally would not want to associate with during their first car purchase. So, Maruti Suzuki has come up with the Celerio, to capture the attention of young buyers by offering all the practicalities of a wagon r while offering a new and cool design appealing to the young target audience.
- Fuel efficiency: The new Celerio is branded as ‘India’s most fuel efficient petrol car’, Maruti Suzuki is able to make this claim, by using the dual jet technology in their 1.0L three-cylinder engine. As the name suggests, it gets dual injectors per cylinder for a fuel efficient output of 26 km/l from the engine. So with fuel prices increasing, the Celerio will reduce your cost of driving.
- Hill hold assist: The AMT variant of Celerio comes with a segment-first feature, the hill hold assist. With this feature, the vehicle does not roll back on an inclined slope like a basement parking, by applying brakes even if you lift your feet from the brake pedal, giving you a short window of time to accelerate the vehicle and drive-off.
- Boot Space: With increased dimensions than the previous generation, the Celerio now gets a segment best boot space of 313 litres. The space can be further increased as the Celerio gets a 60:40 split rear seat.
- Standard safety features: Safety features are not just important for the highways but are equally relevant for city driving. The new Celerio comes with standard safety features like Dual Front airbags, ABS, Seat Belt reminder. The base variant getting these features is a strong point for buyers who are looking forward to buying the entry level variant.
- Pricing: With a starting price of Rs 4.99 lakhs and 6.94 lakhs for the top-end AMT variant is the most expensive hatchback in its segment. The reason why it is a weakness is because the other cars in the segment are offered with a more extensive feature list and bigger engines with higher power output offering a better driving experience.
- Low Power Output: The Celerio is only offered with one engine option, 1.0L 3 cylinder engine, producing 67 HP & 89 Nm of torque, which is the lowest in its segment. Considering the higher price tag than the rivals, you pay a premium for a less powered engine. With a light body weight, it manages to keep up the pace in the city, but the lack of power is not ideal for highway driving.
- Highway Drive: The Celerio is not an ideal highway mile muncher and there are four reasons why so. Firstly, its low HP & Torque figures. Considering our busy Highways, overtaking with the Celerio will have to be pre-planned as you cannot bank upon the engine for a quick torquey response. Secondly, the Steering wheel. Every Auto journalist has pointed out the lack of responsive feedback from the steering and the pain point being the steering’s inability to bring itself back to the center while turning the wheel. This issue builds up on the highway with the car demanding constant steering input to be in a straight line. Lastly, the back seat comfort and lack of isofix mounts. The Celerio has a considerable body roll at the back seat and the rear passengers also don’t get adjustable headrests. Not only is this a downside on the comfort, but even from a safety perspective, with no headrests there is no support for a whiplash. The Celerio even in its top end variant is not offered with isofix mount for baby seats and considering the consumer’s increased demand for child safety. The Celerio is not the ideal pick for highway mile munching.
- Confusing Design: The new Celerio does look like a cute little car which fits perfectly in the criteria for a small city car, but when we speak of design and style. The Celerio has no resemblance to the previous generation of the Celerio and what’s not so good about this, is the fact that the Celerio now actually looks more like a refreshed and premium Alto.
- Cost Cutting features: Despite Celerio’s advancement towards a new generation, Maruti Suzuki have curated a sour cocktail of their historic & new design language. On the outside it gets new curvy contour lines on the body but it also gets old door handles from the Alto. Similarly, inside the cabin the switches for the rear window are placed in a common cabin area behind the handbrake rather than being placed on the door panels.
- Replace the old door handles with Passive entry integrated new door handles.
- Replace the halogen lamps with LED and offer a DRL for the styling.
- Window Switches can be provided at the door panels and the driver can get traditional control of all the switches in one place, making it easy and safe to use.
- The Celerio can come with an adjustable rear headrest for better ride comfort and as a safety measure in case of a whiplash.
- The Celerio can definitely be offered with a rear parking camera to justify its price tag and also since it has become a standard convenience feature to be offered on almost every car.
- Tata Tiago: The Tata Tiago is undoubtedly the biggest threat in the segment as it is priced similarly in the segment but offers a bigger engine with higher power output, an extensive list of features like digital instrument cluster, 8 speaker sound system, rear parking camera and it is also the safest in the segment with a 4 star Global NCAP rating.
- Renault Kwid: The Cheapest in segment even for AMT variants.
- Hyundai Santro & Maruti Suzuki WagonR.
So based on our SWOT analysis, we can summarise that if you’re in the market looking for your first car and will be driving most of the time in the city, then the Celerio can be a good choice for you.
But if you are planning to hit the highways frequently, then the Celerio might not be your ideal choice. As there are safer and better options in the segment.