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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

After 800, Maruti declares end of the road for Estillo and A-Star

Sumant Banerji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 21, 2014
First Published: 00:43 IST(21/2/2014) | Last Updated: 13:06 IST(21/2/2014)

After the iconic Maruti 800 last month, it is the end of the road for two other Maruti small cars—A Star and Estilo, the successor of the Zen nameplate.

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The company on Thursday told HT that it has stopped production of the two cars, and the decision was taken after the launch of its latest car, Celerio, earlier this month. The Celerio, which is riding on an affordable automatic gear shift technology, is expected to fill the void left by the two cars.

The phase out of the A Star brings to an end its largely uneventful 5-year journey in India, which is It one of the shortest life spans of all Maruti cars so far. Only the Maruti 1000 in the early 90s lived a shorter life. Developed with an eye on the export markets, A Star was also shared with Japanese car major Nissan Motor Corp for Europe as part of an agreement in 2006-07, where it was sold as the Nissan Pixo. After good demand in the first few years, sales have tapered off and Nissan does not buy the car from Maruti anymore.

In the domestic market, both cars were relative underperformers, and increased competition in recent years hit their fortunes. Sales of the A Star fell by 41.5% to 7113 units in 2013.

HT had first reported in February 2013 that the Estilo would be phased out by December. Maruti discontinued the old Zen’s jelly bean design with the tall-boy Zen Estilo in 2006.

The change did nothing for the car’s sales, however, and in 2009, the company did away with the Zen brand completely.  The refreshed Estilo did no better, and sales declined nearly 40% last year to under 10,000 units.


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