Owing to the sluggish sales in the automotive market along with the rise of new competition in the entry-level hatchback segment; Maruti Suzuki will launch the next generation Alto K10 hatchback within this financial year to bring back volumes to the vehicle. The all new Maruti Alto K10 is most likely to see a January 2015 launch and will get a complete redesign with a more spacious cabin and new features. It will also get the AMT gearbox from the Celerio.
The design language found on the new Alto K10 will be tad bit similar to the Celerio, while the AMT unit is just obvious considering the kind of success the Celerio has witnessed in the market. The Alto K10 will also get updated with the new aluminium 1.0-litre K-Series mill found on the Celerio and will be mated to 5-speed manual and AMT transmissions. The inclusion of the AMT gearbox will be the major booster for Maruti Suzuki, considering that it will provide the convenience of an automatic on an entry-level hatchback at a marginal premium; a segment first.
The launch of the Datsun GO with a 1.2-litre heart has also made the Alto seem under equipped, especially with the dated design. Hyundai too launched the Eon with a peppier 1.0-litre Kappa engine and the competition does seem more favourable in front of the Alto at this point. The current Alto K10 is powered by a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine that produces 68 PS of power at 6200 RPM and 90 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and was based on the old generation Alto 800, which was replaced in 2012.
Currently Maruti Suzuki imports AMT kits from Magneti Marelli from Italy and the Italian company cannot cope up with the rising demand of AMT gearbox for the Celerio, leading to extended waiting periods. If the company wants to employ the AMT unit on the Alto K10 and other models in its portfolio, the availability of the AMT unit will be a major issue. However, Magneti Marelli is planning to set-up a production base in Manesar within a year to cater to the rise in demand.
Source – Financial Express