Maruti Alto retained its number one position on the list of 10 top selling automobile models for the sixth year running in 2009-10, while the iconic Maruti 800 fell off the list altogether for the first time since it was launched in 1983, according to figures obtained from automobile companies.
No surprise, since the production of the Maruti 800 has been severely curtailed in the past few years, and emission norms stricter than its engine can cope with have seen its sale discontinued in 13 cities from last month. The sales of Maruti 800 had been steadily falling since it lost the number one position to the Alto in 2004 — it was seventh on the auto bestseller list in 2007-08 and eighth the following year.
The much talked about people’s car — Tata Motors’ Rs 1 lakh Nano — is also nowhere on the bestseller list, largely because of low production. It is still being manufactured at Tata’s Pantnagar plant while the new plant to which it has been assigned, at Sanand in Gujarat, is still being built.
“Once the glitches on the production side are settled, the Nano will definitely be one of the largest selling cars in India,” said Abdul Majeed, leader, automotive practice, PriceWaterhouseCoopers.