Synonymous with terms like compact and most selling, India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki announced that its entry-level hatchback the Alto has become the second model in the domestic market to achieve the milestone of crossing 25 lakh unit sales. The only other to have ever cross the 25 lakh mark in the country was none other than the Maruti 800, the original people’s car of India.
The momentous feat has been achieved by the Maruti Alto over a period of 14 years. Launched in 2000, the Alto went on to become the fastest growing brand in the country, while also being the largest selling car in the country for years. Even with some serious competition from the Hyundai Eon and Tata Nano, the Alto held its helm in the market and has been one of the most trusted products, especially for first time car buyers.
The Maruti Alto is powered by an 800cc 3-cylinder engine that belts out 48 PS of power and 69 Nm of torque, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Maruti also launched the more powerful K10 version of the Alto featuring a 1.0-litre K-Series mill in 2010 for buyers who wanted additional power. Keeping up with buyer demands and growing competition, Maruti also updated the Alto 800 in 2012 comprehensively, complete with an all new exterior and cabin offering a fresh new look.
The new Alto 800 was equally successful as the old generation model and clocked in over 1 lakh sales within just four months of launch. Having essentially replaced the Maruti 800 as the company’s entry-level offering, the Alto has been regarded as the ideal car for first time buyers offering decent space, a potent powertrain and lower running costs.
Maruti Suzuki has exported over 2.85 lakh units of the Alto overseas over the years. The company is also preparing a mid-life facelift for the model that will be launched by the end of this year to keep it fresh against the growing competition. Available in eight variants, prices for the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 start at Rs. 2.37 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).