Until less than half a decade ago, Maruti Suzuki’s 800 hathcback used to be the carmaker’s bread and butter model. Owing to stiff competition from rivals, the more than 2 decade old war horse was shown the door and the Alto saw some really aggressive price cuts. It may be noted that the 800 is largely based on the first generation of Alto and the Alto on sale in India is the last generation of the Alto brand, the latest being the A-Star. Phew! Keeping the name game aside, it may be noted that the largest selling car-the Alto is facing a tough fight from the recently introduced Hyundai Eon. On the other hand, the 800, which is still on sale in tier II cities, is fast losing out to the popular Tata Nano. These issues sure pose a tremendous threat to the country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited(MSIL). MSIL, has announced in the past that they are planning to bring a replacement to the aforementioned models. The upcoming model is being worked upon currently and it is expected to hit the market within a couple of years. Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director, Maruti Suzuki India Limited said sometime back that the 800 and Alto have been in the Indian market since a really long time and the changing market scenarios has made the manufacturer work on bringing out a replacement model for these. Going by our sources, the replacement might be here as soon as by the end of this year.
“A replacement for the 800cc model makes sense as it hasn’t been selling very aggressively at about 2,000 units a month. This will be a totally new small car, though based on an existing platform,” a company official recently told a news daily.
Keeping up with the changing times, this new model will sport a new & modern styling but will have the same 800cc motor at its heart, albeit, in a new state of tune.It may be noted that Mr. Nakanishi also said that the current Alto K10 will NOT be axed after the launch of the replacement car. As per him, this development will see an investment of more than Rs. 550 crores. The manufacturer plans to export this new model a few other Asian nations and also to Latin America and North Africa.
“With petrol prices on the rise and urban spaces getting crowded, the fuel-efficient compact car category is expected to show strong growth in the future. However, the next step is developing smaller diesel engines for the segment,” an industry expert said.
This news guns down all rumors of Maruti’s plan to introduce the 660 cc Cervo this year to the Indian market.And don’t be surprised if the upcominng Maruti Suzuki has a better answer to the‘kitna deti hai?‘ queries.
Quotes Via TheHinduBusinessLine