India’s leading car maker, Maruti Suzuki, on Tuesday launched a refurbished Maruti Alto 800 aimed at youth and entry-level car buyers.
The company expects the car, which would be pitted against the Tata Nano, Hyundai Santro and GM’s Chevrelot Spark, to revive the sagging fortunes of petrol cars, hit by spiralling petrol prices.
“The new Alto 800 has been designed for entry-level customers. We have already received over 10,000 bookings for the car,” said Shinzo Nakanishi, managing director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL).
Maruti Alto comes in two versions — the 800 cc and in 1,000 cc — with K-series engines. The younger sibling contributes nearly 70% to the brand’s sales, and it is this model that has been upgraded and branded as the new Alto 800, sporting new headlights and an upgraded, larger-looking body.
The company has invested around Rs 470 crore, and 200 engineers from Suzuki Motor Corporation and Maruti Suzuki were jointly involved in the development of the Alto 800 for over four years.
The petrol variant of the new Alto 800, available in the price range of R2.44 lakh to R2.99 lakh, promises a fuel efficiency of 22.74 kilometres per litre. The CNG variant has been priced between Rs 3.19 lakh and Rs 3.56 lakh, with a fuel efficiency of 30.46 km per kilogram. The car will be available in six different variants — three each for petrol and CNG.
Though MSIL is banking on the new Alto 800 to boost sales, it has lowered its overall sales growth projection to 3-5% for this fiscal year, starkly down from the previous 10%.
“We are expecting to grow 3-5% this fiscal,” said Nakanishi. “High petrol prices are impacting our sales badly as most of our best-selling models are in this segment.”
The sales of MSIL fell by 10.8% in 2011-12, partially due to labour strike at its Manesar plants.
|Base Petrol||Rs 2.44 L|
|New Alto 800||LX||Rs. 2.76 L|
|LXi||Rs. 2.99 L|
|CNG Base||Rs. 3.19 L|
|LXi||Rs. 3.37 L|
|LXi CNG||Rs. 3.56 L|