Suzuki Liana without any doubt was Pak Suzuki’s worst nightmare. Launched in 2005 as a replacement of Suzuki Baleno, Liana was initially imported with a 1.6 liter engine, however locally assembled versions with 1.3 & 1.6 liter engines were launched in 2006. Keep in mind the car was already discontinued globally when it was brought into our market.
Liana sedan did well in its initial years of production. However, the sales kept on a decline in following years up to a time when there were hardly a dozen units being sold in an entire month. Towards the end of its production, Liana sold at an average of just 160 units a year, compared to its predecessor Baleno whose average sales were around 4,000 units a year.
Liana is a car that holds a very negative impression among people, there are a few things attributed to its failure. First it was a Suzuki, the spares of which were as expensive as Honda. People expect Suzukis to be easy on pocket since they used to be this way since the 70s. Suzuki still heavily relies on producing obsolete cars such as Cultus, Mehran, Bolan and Ravi the maintenance of which is next to nothing. Even discontinued models like Khyber, Alto, and Margalla were very easy to maintain, and spares were dirt cheap. This, however, wasn’t the case with the Liana. Next issue was the way the car looked; people never really envied the design. Despite the tall height of the car, the low front bumpers used to get brushed on speed breakers and bumps ever so often.
It came with a factory fitted highly advanced Sequential Ignition System CNG kit (SIS), which even the dealerships had a hard time to understand and fix. Mechanics had a tough time due to its engine architecture. For example, as one of the owner mentions:
Even thermostat cannot be changed without taking out the intake manifold. Taking the timing cover off means taking off, power steering pump, main pulley, AC compressor and one foundation. After that, there are around 20 bolts to work with. If head gets de-shaped, there is not much room for facing as the timing cover is a single piece and is a tight fit. Nightmare for any mechanic as even a gasket change required the engine to be taken out and if you try to do it without taking it out, it’s a 5-hour job to dismantle only. Also, heating problem is common because of a stuck thermostat in a closed position.
Suzuki is yet to launch a replacement for Liana in our market and thus have completely lost their position in the 1300cc sedan segment.
However there is one place in the world where Liana is still available for sale and is being periodically updated with facelifts & cosmetic changes. In China, despite all the improvements the Liana with a 1.4 liter engine, is always at the bottom of sales chart & struggles to keep up with its competitors. Perhaps a move like this to refresh the appearance of Liana & improving its engine might have helped Pak Suzuki in keeping the car alive in our market.
The Liana A6 in China..