Most of us growing up in the eighties have fond memories of one of the best-selling cars from Maruti Suzuki — the Maruti 800. There were days when a Maruti 800 in your porch would make you feel special in your locality. Then came the Maruti Alto in the year 2000, which too swept the Indian auto market in the entry level category. Maruti 800cc and Alto were both tremendously successful models.
But all good things come to an end.
Sales of the Alto, which stood at 35,000 units in March 2012, fell to just 10,488 units in August this year. Adding to the woes, Maruti’s image got a huge hit when a major internal labour turbulence at its Manesar facility earlier this year stalled production.
However, the company is aiming to reclaim its lost glory, to once again become India’s most popular car brand. The magic that they have tried this time is an old formula with a new twist.
Maruti launched its all new Alto 800 on Tuesday and the car is no doubt a winner. The car is sure to cause a major turnaround in Maruti Suzuki’s sales and image.
The car is no old wine in a new bottle. It shares the name of two of its successful predecessors but that’s where the similarity ends.
The new Alto 800 looks fresh, stylish and very youthful and has all the features that a middle class buyer would be looking for in his or her first car. It comes in frost blue, granite grey, superior white, blazing red, silky silver, torque blue colours with an interior colour option in grey or brown. The top variant of Alto 800 has a driver side air bag option, which is quite interesting in an entry level car.
According to Chief Operating Officer (M&S) of Maruti Suzuki, Mayank Pareek, “The car has 100 new things which Alto doesn’t have. It is loaded with features that will surprise any entry level car buyer.”
The USP of the car is undoubtedly its mileage. It sure will satisfy the Indian mentality of kitna deti hai as it promises a fuel efficiency of 22.74 kmpl in the petrol variant while the CNG car will have a fuel efficiency of 30.46 km/kg.
It also comes with an attractive rate card. Alto 800’s starting price is Rs 2.44 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for its petrol version while the CNG variant starts at Rs 3.19 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). This allows it to become a strong contender for Tata Nano and Hyundai EON in the entry level market.
Actor Ayushman Khurana graced the occasion at the launch event, sending out a message that the company is targeting the Indian youth. This is clear from the fact that look wise the car has been designed to appeal to the age bracket of 25 plus – ambitious and upwardly mobile.
It will not be misplaced to say that the car comes with a lot of hope for the company and undoubtedly a lot of excitement for a first time car buyer.
And with the pre-launch booking figure reaching 10,000, get ready to see hundreds of Alto 800 clogging the Indian roads. So, if you are saving up for a car this year, then maybe you won’t have to think twice before bringing home the all new Maruti Alto 800 this Diwali. It sure seems very promising!