Companies

Maruti hopes to pull another Swift with new Alto 800

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Expected pricing Rs 15,000-20,000 over outgoing model

As the new Alto 800cc drives in next month, Maruti Suzuki aims to deliver an even better promise to the customer.

With the car expected to cost Rs 15,000-20,000 more than the outgoing model (Rs 2.40-3.42 lakh, current ex-showroom, Delhi), the success of the new Alto is critical for Maruti.

The carmaker hopes that its bread-and-butter model will give a volume boost at a time when demand for petrol cars is at an all-time low.

Similar to the strategy followed in the Swift, the new Alto will take the brand one level up and expect sales to reciprocate.

The new Alto claims to deliver 15 per cent higher fuel efficiency, has more interior space and modern design lines. A CNG variant will continue to be on offer.

“It will be something like the Swift. We’re improving on something that is already good. The new model will have more leg and shoulder space and more headroom,” said Manohar Bhat, Maruti Suzuki’s Vice-President for Marketing.

When the brand was launched 12 years back, it faced virtually no competition.

Today, Hyundai Eon would be the first target competitor, apart form the Chevrolet Spark which is due to get a face lift soon.

Renault and Ford are also reportedly working on small car models in the sub-Rs 4 lakh segment.

Revised 800cc engine

The Alto’s revised 800cc engine also boasts of a 10 per cent higher torque. The top variant gets airbags for safety, while gear shifting has also been improved with new technology addition - in all, Rs 470 crore investment has been made by Maruti and its suppliers.

With over two million unit sales since launch in 2000, the Alto, incidentally, is the largest selling single car brand (with Alto K10) in the world for the last two years. Reports have additionally claimed that it is also the largest selling compact car globally.

Sales

At its peak, the Alto sold about 24,000 units a month last fiscal. Monthly sales, however, have come down by about 19 per cent to an average of 19,000 units (including Alto K10), between April and July.

The car clocking such numbers is Maruti’s own Swift (18,000 a month), with the third position taken up by the Maruti WagonR.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 24, 2012

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