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Geneva show: Suzuki Celerio edges closer

Winds of change: Suzuki’s new light hatchback will be globally named Celerio, taking over from longstanding Alto and the brief A:Wind concept name.

Suzuki keen to keep its Alto-replacing Celerio Australia’s cheapest car

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Suzuki logo7 Feb 2014

SUZUKI’S Alto successor – called Celerio – will premiere in European specification at next month’s Geneva motor show before arriving on Australian soil in early 2015.

The new-generation city car made its word debut this month and the Delhi Auto Expo, but it’s the safer Euro-specified car that we’ll get here. Unlike the current car, which is sourced for Australia from India, the new model will likely come from Thailand.

Pricing and equipment details will follow later, but the Japanese car-maker is keen to maintain the mantle of Australia cheapest new car. The current Alto GL starts at $11,790 before on-road costs.

“We know where that car has to play. It’s a very competitive market and it has to be very carefully priced,” said Suzuki Australia communications manager Andrew Ellis.

Competition comes chiefly from Mitsubishi and its top-selling $12,990 Mirage ES, while other rivals include the $12,490 Holden Barina Spark and even the $14,000 European Fiat 500 Pop.

Despite undercutting all rivals, Alto sales were well behind the micro-segment-leading Mirage in January (805 sales to 133, down 50 per cent).

Suzuki has historically struggled to get consistent supply out of India.

Suzuki reports that car will have a generous passenger compartment aided by a slight increase over current Alto dimensions, and ‘class-leading’ carbon dioxide emissions from its 1.0-litre engine. But little else is known about the little hatchback at this stage.

The Alto replacement first appeared as a concept named the A:Wind at the Thai motor show December last year, along with the announcement that the new car would be built in Thailand as well as India where the Alto is currently made.

Moving production to Thailand may even result in a slight reduction to the ticket-price thanks to Australia’s free-trade agreement with the South East Asian nation.

While the name Celerio is already used in other regions, the new version will mark the end of the Alto nameplate, with all future models adhering to the Celerio global standard.

The new Suzuki Celerio goes on show on March 4 at the Geneva motor show and GoAuto will bring you all the details and more.

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