Updated on 19/04/2012
Maruti Suzuki will stop the production of the iconic 800 model by the end of April 2012.
“We are stopping production of this model from this April-end,” I V Rao, managing executive officer, engineering, Maruti Suzuki, was quoted as saying by Daily News & Analysis.
The 800 kick started the era of affordable, small family hatchbacks in India. The 800 was launched in 1983 and was a credible alternative to the then popular Hindustan Motors Ambassador and Fiat Padmini. The 800 had no serious competition until 2004 when Maruti Suzuki launched the Alto, which is now the largest selling car in India.
With nearly three decades of its presence in the market, the sales of the 800 have crossed 27 lakh units. During April 2010, the company stopped selling the 800 in 14 cities including the metros as it did not qualify for the BS-IV emission norms set by the government. Despite this, the 800 sales average remained at 2,000 units a month over the last couple of months, which says a lot about the people’s trust on the 800.
Maruti Suzuki is planning to replace the iconic 800 model with a new model. The new 800 replacement will be built on the existing platform and will also retain the same F8D, 800 cc engine that powers the Maruti Suzuki Alto. The new model is expected to feature Maruti Suzuki’s new styling & design language.
A replacement for the 800cc model will be made as a totally new small car although it will be based on an existing platform. A replacement for the 800 made news during July 2011 when a test mule of the facelifted M800 was spotted. The spy photo revealed the new model will come with tear-drop shaped headlamps and a slightly longer bonnet than the present 800.
The test car also featured body colored front and rear bumpers, two thick horizontal chrome slats on the bonnet and a slightly raked shoulder line. The bonnet seemed to be slightly longer than the present model. On the inside, expect the new model to feature dual tone interiors, adequate headroom, refreshed dashboard with contemporary instrument cluster and basic features such as AC and power steering.
The M800 successor will be powered by the Maruti Suzuki Alto’s 796 cc, F8D engine ( BS IV compliant) that makes 46 bhp of maximum power and 62 Nm of maximum torque. The engine is known for its frugal nature and returns a claimed mileage of 19.73 kmpl. With regard to pricing, the new model is expected to be priced starting at less than Rs. 2 lakh. At present, the M800 prices range between Rs. 2.04 lakh and Rs. 2.37 lakh.
With a new model which will replace the M800, Maruti Suzuki will offer another credible choice to small car buyers in the budget range of Rs. 2 lakh – 3 lakh.