Pak Suzuki launched the Ciaz sedan in Pakistan as a CBU import back in February 2017 marking their comeback in the sedan segment after the miserable demise of Liana. There were a lot of hopes that Suzuki might regain good share in sedan market which they lost ever since Margalla went out of production in late 90s. However the Ciaz failed to create any impact in the market and it’s now on the verge of being discontinued from Pak Suzuki’s lineup.
There are a couple of reasons attributed towards Suzuki Ciaz being unable to attract the buyers in our market, despite being a Suzuki badged product. First is the fact that Ciaz missed out more than a dozen features found in international versions, it looked as if it was a bare version specifically made to be sold in Pakistan.
Second was the price factor. While the introductory price of Suzuki Ciaz was set at PKR 16.99 lac for the manual and PKR 18.39 lac for the automatic version, which was considered higher even at the time of its launch, courtesy the missing features. However just after a month the prices were increased by Rs 150,000, with the manual version being PKR 18.59 and automatic available for PKR 19.99 lac. And with a price tag this high, people never considered it as a viable option.
Related: Pak Suzuki Ciaz vs Maruti Ciaz
Third is the fact that Suzuki never considered to assemble the sedan locally. It was introduced almost parallel to the Celerio (Cultus) in 2017, but Pak Suzuki utilized all its efforts to market their 1000cc hatchback which never really had any competition in our market whatsoever and treated their own capable Ciaz as an orphan. Sources also say that Pak Suzuki was contingent on the government offering the same incentives it was offering to new entrants in the Automotive Development Policy 2016-21, so it could introduce new models in our market.
The company also hinted to making an investment to build their 2nd assembly plant in Pakistan, but only if they were awarded the Greenfield status which the government denied. According to Pak Suzuki:
“We have neither given a launch date nor have any plan for our vendors to localize parts for models. There is no change in our official policy. We are still waiting for a reply from the government on the written proposal we submitted to it a few months ago. The new models were planned along with the new Greenfield plant the company wanted to set up with over $430 million investment, but since we did not get the incentive in the new auto policy; we have not finalized anything.”
Over all these years Ciaz remained gracing the showroom floors while it had all the potential to achieve decent success in Pakistan, but ironically Pak Suzuki was never too serious in creating any troubles for Honda City in Pakistan. Bear in mind the Ciaz competes against the likes of newer 6th gen City elsewhere, but here it was a decade-old 5th gen City up against it, still Pak Suzuki missed a golden opportunity in re-grabbing a decent chunk of sedan market share.
Even with sales almost as bad as nil, Pak Suzuki kept increasing the prices of Ciaz. Today the sedan cost PKR 23.0 lac for manual and PKR 25.0 lac for automatic variant and while one can argue that the prices are still not that high considering other available options in the market, it’s the lack of features as well as company’s lack of intent that the Ciaz keep waiting for buyers.
Performance wise, it’s not at all a bad car. In fact the Ciaz offers the best in class 2,650 mm wheelbase (100 mm more than 5th gen City) resulting in a spacious interior, a rather impressive drive, better built quality due to the fact that it’s imported from Thailand and has a fuel efficient 1.4L K14B engine under its hood.
Last month the Ciaz facelift was introduced in Thailand from where the CBU versions for Pakistan arrive. We were hoping that Suzuki might launch the updated Ciaz in Pakistan and we also wished
Related: Pak Suzuki Might Discontinue Ciaz
However as per reports, Pak Suzuki is now planning to discontinue the Ciaz sedan in Pakistan. According to dealerships, the decision is being made since Ciaz has a very low demand in the market. From the looks of it, the Ciaz just like Kizashi, will be written-off in history as yet another Suzuki sedan in Pakistan that failed to create any sort of troubles for its rivals whatsoever. However the sad part is, unlike Liana or Kizashi, the Ciaz actually was a very capable product. It was a wildcard which unfortunately Pak Suzuki had no idea about how to make use of.