Stewart's presents the Ciaz
Last Tuesday afternoon, the story was told of Hirotaka Ono, a senior operating officer at Suzuki Motor Corporation who died of pancreatic cancer in 2007. His death halted the launch of several Suzuki motor vehicle updates.
"The company went into shock for five years. It affected everybody in the company," said Gary Clarke, who is from Barbados, during the unveiling of the Suzuki Ciaz sedan. The launch was done at Stewart's Auto Sales' Suzuki Showroom on South Camp Road in Kingston.
Now that the Ciaz is being presented as the latest in a series of new and/or refreshed Suzuki models, there was an explanation of the thought process behind the car.
"Suzuki wanted to make an authentic sedan. An authentic sedan in Suzuki's mind is something very good on performance, great on cabin space, always looking out for the passenger and driver and performance. It has a sophisticated, elegant look that gives a premium feel," said brand manager of Stewart's Suzuki division, Matthew Stevenson.
The 2015 Ciaz, which has already sold approximately six units locally, boasts an attractive look. The front is similar to other Suzuki motor vehicles and features a four-slat chrome grille with the Suzuki badge nestled in the centre.
According to Stevenson, the vehicle has earned "best in class" for its interior.
"You are not going to get a car in its class that has more interior space than the Ciaz. The one thing they wanted to stress more than anything else is the passenger and the comfort of the passengers. When you look through the vehicle, you will see that the passengers have leather and fabric seats and they (the rear seat occupants) have a great armrest with drinks holder and their own air-conditioning control," he explained.
The vehicle does not only boast an attractive interior but stellar performance, Stevenson said.
"From a performance point of view, and this is where the Suzuki Ciaz excels, it gives you 54 miles per gallon or 20 kilometres per litre. To put that into perspective, if you were to fill this tank up and drive from Kingston, Jamaica, to Nassau, Bahamas, it could do so on one tank," Stevenson said of the vehicle, which retails for $3,275,000 at full duty.
The Honda City and Toyota Yaris are among the Ciaz's direct competitors.
The Ciaz is the successor to the Suzuki SX4, which did not fare as well as Stewart's had hoped on the local market. The Ciaz has been a mainstay in India and the decision to introduce it to Jamaica was based on the similarities of the markets.
Financing is available through Stewart's in-house Simpson Finance, as well as a number of banks and credit unions.