Suzuki Australia is likely to replace the Suzuki Alto nameplate with Suzuki Celerio when the all-new model goes into production later this year.
Sources inside Suzuki have told CarAdvice the name change will coincide with the production shift from India, where the current Alto is made, to Thailand, where the new-Celerio will take advantage of production capacity at the company’s Swift manufacturing plant.
The Suzuki Celerio will become the light-car’s global name with Alto likely to be dropped entirely. It will be based on the Suzuki A:Wind concept.
The name change will come as a surprise to Suzuki customers, given the Alto nameplate has been in Australia as far back as 1985, with the current model having established itself as an affordable, cheap to maintain city runabout.
Pre-orders for the next-generation Suzuki Celerio, made in India, have already started but Thai production of the car, which Australia will utilise, is expected in the fourth-quarter of this year with the new model likely to be here early 2015.
In 2013 the Suzuki Alto set a total sales tally of 2848, down from 3998 in 2012. The light city car starts from $11,790 for the base model manual and finishes at $13,990 for the four-speed automatic GLX.
Last year RACQ named the Suzuki Alto as the cheapest vehicle to own, the second time the little Suzuki has won the award.