Maruti to speed up launch of new Alto 800

Updated: The new Alto 800 is now launched! Research the new Alto 800 or read our detailed road test and review. You can also read these popular stories: What is different between the new Alto 800 and the old Alto 800, how does it compare to the Alto K10.

Despite the ongoing labor trouble and lockout at its Manesar plant, Maruti plans to speed up the launch of its upcoming small hatchback the Alto 800 and roll it out before Diwali. With production of the Swift and Dzire being hit, Maruti needs a car to shore up its volumes especially during the upcoming festival season.

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Photo: Spyshot of the new Maruti Alto 800. Courtesy: Cardekho.com

According to a report, the new Alto 800 will be produced at the company’s Gurgaon plant in time for a launch just before Diwali. The car may be priced even lower than the present Alto 800, which should give it a sticker price of about Rs. 2.5 lakh. It will compete with the Tata Nano and the Hyundai Eon.

After the trouble started at its Manesar plant, Maruti is expecting to lose nearly 40% of its potential customers to rivals, and it needs a product to keep up the volumes and to prevent it from further losing market share. At present the company has about 44% market share in the hatchback segment.

Maruti also recently announced plans to shore up production of the Ertiga, Eeco and Ritz, all cars that are produced at its Gurgaon plant, to meet increasing demand. However, customers who have booked the Swift and the Dzire will have a much longer waiting period because the company’s bulk of production for these cars takes place at Manesar and demand far exceeds supply.

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Photo: The front of the upcoming Alto looks a little like the Figo

Even when production was in full swing, with the Swift selling nearly 20,000 units a month and the Dzire about 15,000, waiting periods extended up to six months. Just sales of the Swift and Dzire alone contribute to nearly 41% of Maruti’s total sales, with the Alto and Wagon R being the other two big sellers in its product line up.

Maruti needs to make up this shortfall in some way and hopes the launch of the new Alto 800 at a lower price tag will bring in the much needed volumes. Maruti hopes for the impasse at Manesar to clear within a month, and production will resume in full swing in time for the festive season.

Source: Economic Times