Economy

Maruti Alto tops entry segment for 14th year running

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 27, 2017

maruti-alto

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The ‘first family car’ saw sales of over a lakh in the January-May period

The country’s largest selling car in the entry segment, Maruti Suzuki Alto has retained its numero uno position consecutively for the last 13 years and for the first five months of this year too. It has surpassed the last year’s numbers for the same period too.

Till May end this year, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has sold 1,07,557 units compared with 1,01,306 units in January-May 2016. The number sold is not only by far larger than its competitors such as Renault Kwid and Hyundai Eon, but also higher than many companies’ annual sales figures of all models put together.

While, the closest competitor Renault Kwid has 41,814 units sold between January and May, Hyundai Motor India has sold 27,023 units of Eon sold during this period, sources from the companies told BusinessLine.

Launched in September 2000, this ‘first family car’ for many by MSIL has around 33 lakh cars running on the Indian roads and around 25 per cent of its sales comes from young, first-time buyers.

“To keep its position strong, Maruti Suzuki has systematically upgraded the brand periodically to keep it relevant. Importantly, customers in the entry segment are as aspirational in design, technology and features as customers of higher segment. Therefore, OEMs have to read their expectations well before bringing a product,” a senior official at the company said.

The company has also regularly upgraded the Alto with the latest technology and new features to meet the expectations of its buyers. Today, the smallest car from the company’s stable comes with a new improved exterior design, better interiors and better powertrain.

Affordable tag

It comes with two engine options – 800cc and K10 – and a CNG fuel variant. With the changing time, the Alto K10 is also offered with the clutch-less Auto Gear Shift Transmission (AGS) technology. In addition, for safety, it has a driver airbag as an option from base variant onwards, a first in its segment.

According to analysts, Alto has found favour with its customers as an affordable car with good design, performance and high fuel efficiency since its launch. Customers, especially at the entry-level, have valued Alto as a win-win package of style and affordability, they said.

With Maruti Suzuki’s nationwide service network (more than 2,700), guaranteed performance and lower maintenance cost, Alto is a natural choice of the customers across India.

“Alto was launched with clear strategy to focus on the entry level cars. The product did extremely well to address the customer preference on all count such as pricing, styling- interior exterior for the cost-conscious customer. The product is also supplemented well by the distribution network and after-market sales services,” said Abdul Majeed, Partner at Price Waterhouse.

This is why Alto did very well in the market place, he said. Majeed added that the customer preferences are changing and competition will also become very stiff in this segment.

For instance, because of new competitors in the market, the sales of the last financial year was hit and the company sold 2,41,635 units compared with 2,63,422 units in 2015-16. In its peak, the company sold 3,46,840 units during 2010-11.

“The future’s continued success depends upon how customers and regulators’ changing preference are addressed in this category,” Majeed added.

The company has regularly upgraded the Alto with the latest technology and new features to meet the expectations of its buyers. Today, the smallest car from the company’s stable comes with a new improved exterior design, better interiors and better powertrain.

Published on June 27, 2017
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