Maruti Suzuki was all set to bring in the Alto 800 this festive season but the company’s plans have been ruined due to the labour unrest at its Manesar facility. The company has no option but to postpone the launch of the car, rescheduling it to early 2013. However Maruti Suzuki might still be able to launch the Alto 800 in Diwali if they are able to recover quickly from the violence at their Manesar plant. The stoppage in production has caused huge loss for both Maruti Suzuki and its suppliers and will lead to dis-satisfied prospective customers who have booked vehicles months ago.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 is the replacement of the 800 and Alto F8. It is not an all new car but based on the existing Alto platform. The engine is the same 800cc, 3-cylinder unit, which is expected to get tweaks to improve upon fuel economy. The Alto 800 is expected to sit above the current 800cc Alto in Maruti Suzuki portfolio. Maruti Suzuki was expected to start trial production of the Alto 800 at its Gurgaon facility next week but that will be put on hold till the production re-starts at Manesar.
The current strike at Manesar is not the first time to happen for India’s largest automaker. Something similar had happened last year, pushing huge losses for the company. The current strike has caused damage to humans and property and should not have happened. However Maruti Suzuki is not planning to leave Manesar and will still put up a third plant there next year. The company has currently reduced production of petrol-powered cars to prevent inventory from building up. It is also in talks with Gujarat CM for a new manufacturing facility in the state.