If anyone has managed to find a chink in Maruti’s armour, it has to be the Renault Kwid. With its SUV-inspired looks and aggressive pricing, the Kwid has already amassed more than 1,00,000 sales in just over a year. And now Maruti wants a share of that pie.
India’s largest automaker is having none of it, and is reportedly preparing a competitor aimed squarely at the Kwid. The hatchback is said to reiterate the Kwid’s formula, and thus feature SUV-inspired styling; something that made the Renault a runaway success.
And it’ll be extremely affordable as well, something that the Kwid manages to be because of its high levels of localisation (98%) in India. Right then, an ultra-low cost, SUV-styled Maruti hatchback, possibly with a myriad of customisation options, is around the corner. So what happens to the cute little Alto?
Contrary to previous reports, Maruti’s upcoming Kwid fighter will not replace the Alto, but continue to sell alongside it. The former will be in a niche of its own, attracting more adventurous customers (read young). For those looking for a conventional and basic car, the Alto will still be there.
As for the styling, the hatchback could pick a leaf from the Suzuki Crosshiker concept that was showcased at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. It was Suzuki Motor Company’s idea for a SUV-styled micro hatchback, and it still looks striking four years down the line.
There are no specifics about the mechanical bits yet, but there’s a fat chance that Maruti’s upcoming Kwid fighter would employ the Alto 800’s drive-train. It is likely to go on sale in 2018, and is expected to be unveiled in production ready form at Auto Expo 2018.