SHUZO HOSHIKURA calls it “very maganda [beautiful]” and he may not be lying. But he was not referring to some Miss Universe, Miss Earth or Miss World winner; he was referring to the entry of Suzuki to the B-Segment or subcompact car market: the Ciaz.
“We [Suzuki] already launched it [Ciaz] in India, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries as well,” he said.
Hoshikura added the Ciaz will be introduced in the Philippine next year.
From the Susuki websites in countries where it has so far been introduced, the Ciaz looks like it has the features that can attract a good number of subcompact car buyers. The B-Segment is a highly competitive segment and counts the Toyota Vios, Hyundai Accent, Honda City and the Ford Fiesta as mainstays, among others.
In India where it is marketed by the Maruti-Suzuki joint venture, the Ciaz has a diesel variant that features the Smart Hybrid Technology of the two companies. The technology features an Integrated Starter Generator that improves fuel efficiency by supplementing the engine’s power.
The standard engine is a gas-fed 1.4-liter unit with variable valve timing.
In Thailand, there is also a model that has continuously variable transmission alongside those offered with manual and automatic transmissions.
When it comes to styling, the Ciaz has clean lines and sports the signature Suzuki grille with the “S” emblazoned at the center. And like most B-Segment cars, it has wraparound headlamps.
The interior can be available in either pure black or black and beige.
How the Ciaz can fare against the Vios, Accent, City and Fiesta, among others, remains to be seen.
But with Suzuki Philippines Inc. expected to register a 50-percent increase in sales to 10,000 units this year, the Ciaz may have no problem generating its own following.
Also, if more B-Segment car buyers find the Ciaz “very maganda,” Hoshikura may see another banner year for Suzuki cars in the Philippines.