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Maruti Alto retains altitude and attitude

autos Updated: Apr 23, 2011 01:26 IST
Sumant Banerji
Sumant Banerji
Hindustan Times
Sumant Banerji

While Alto has strengthened its position as the best selling car in India in 2010-11 selling almost 350,000 cars during the fiscal, an intense fight for the number 2 slot saw Wagon R nudge ahead of Hyundai i10 with less than 1,200 units separating them.

Small cars and compact hatchbacks continue to dominate the list of best sellers with as many as eight of them figuring in the top 10. At No. 5, Maruti Swift Dzire, emerged as the best selling sedan with sales of over 100,000 units, a first.

India's bestselling car since 2005, Alto distanced itself further from competition with a robust 47.5% growth. The car, which emerged as world's largest selling minicar in 2010, sold more than double that of its nearest rival Wagon R.

"With the launch of the k10 last year, sales of the Alto have hit another gear," said I V Rao, managing executive officer (engineering), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. "This year we should sell over 400,000 units of it and its dominance at the top will only continue."

Tata Indica was the big loser as its sales dropped by over 14% forcing it down the order though the homegrown automaker stuck gold with its sedan Indigo Manza. The latter's sales grew by 55.3%.

The only other car to post a decline in sales was another old warhorse Hyundai Santro.

Other big movers included Ford Figo, the only American car on the list, and Hyundai i20 whose sales grew the fastest by almost 87%. i20 displaced Maruti Ritz from the top 10 list. The meteoric success of the Figo kept Nano, which after its tepid start is showing signs of a revival, out of the big league. None of the other debutants during the year such as Volkswagen Polo or Nissan Micra have been able to unsettle the established order.

"The Figo has completely changed our position in the market today," said Michael Boneham, president and MD, Ford India.

With a number of new small car launches such as Toyota Liva, Honda Brio and possibly Hyundai's entry level car expected this year, the league of bestsellers may find many new names in future.