It sold over 4,000 units in August, and is at a healthy number two in the mid-size sedan segment to the Honda City, which averages 6,000 units a month. But on Tuesday, India's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) gave the Ciaz a boost by launching a 'mild' hybrid version that replaces the existing diesel variants of the car.
Priced at ₹ 8.23-10.17 lakh in Delhi, the Ciaz SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle Suzuki) will be ₹ 9,000-23,500 cheaper than the diesel variants it replaces, thanks to lower excise duty of 12.5% against 24% and a ₹ 13,000 subsidy for hybrid vehicles announced in the Union Budget 2015.
The price concession is courtesy government's electric and hybrid vehicle policy of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India) launched in April. The company saves over ₹ 1 lakh per car, and is passing on a portion to buyers.
A hybrid must offer three features — an integrated electric motor, braking-regeneration (for recharging the motor) and idling startstop feature, which puts the engine in stand-by mode when it is at a standstill for a certain time (such as at traffic lights) and restarts when the clutch is depressed
"We are attempting something new here but are confident of its success. It is more fuel efficient without burdening the customer's pocket," said CV Raman, executive director, MSIL. "In times to come, it will be used in some of our other cars as well."