A recent report on HindustanTimes has stated that the Maruti Suzuki Alto is the world’s best selling small car. Is the Alto really the best selling small car in the world? The straight answer to this question is NO. Essentially, the whole premise on which the HindustanTimes report is based is flawed.
While the report mentions “India’s best-selling car Maruti Alto has emerged as the largest-selling small car in the world, staving off stiff competition from Toyota Aqua in Japan, Volkswagen Golf in Germany and Volkswagen Gol in Brazil.“, it fails to take into account that “the world” means the big blue world, not just localized, standalone markets such as Japan, Germany or for that matter India.
Taking the entire world into consideration, it emerges that the Maruti Alto’s supposed leadership position in the small car space is usurped by multiple cars such as the Volkswagen Golf (470,229 units) and the Toyota Aqua/Prius C hatchbacks. The Maruti Suzuki Alto, with sales of 265,777 units in 2013, only maintains its leadership position in India.
It may be noted that the cars that have outsold the Maruti Suzuki Alto are significantly more expensive, and larger in terms of actual size as well as engine displacement. While the MQB platform based Volkswagen Golf is sold with petrol and turbo diesel engines, the Toyota Prius C/Aqua is a petrol hybrid car. The Alto sold in India spans two models, the Alto 800 and the Alto K10.
The Alto 800 is powered by a 796 cc- 3 cylinder petrol engine while the Alto K10 features a 1 liter- 3 cylinder K-Series petrol motor. Both cars are known to be supremely reliable, fuel efficient and cheap to maintain. They are also supported by Maruti Suzuki’s after sales network, the best such network in India. By the end of this year, Maruti Suzuki will equip the Alto K10 with an automated manual transmission (AMT).