Maruti Suzuki Alto crossed sales figure of 29 lakh units in less than 15 years to cross the number of cars sold under the Maruti 800 moniker in India. M800 took 29 years to sell 29 lakh units. Launched in September 2000, the model touched cumulative sales of 29,19,819 units in October 2015.
Maruti Suzuki Executive Director (Marketing and Sales) R S Kalsi said, “Over the years, Alto has brought happiness to 29 lakh families to become India’s largest selling single brand car. With its success, Alto continues to remain the first choice for personal mobility solution for Indian customers. Alto has redefined the automobile landscape in the country. It has been the car of choice for a generation of Indians for its high fuel efficiency, low cost of maintenance and acquisition.”
Maruti Suzuki Alto reached the milestone in just 15 years of existence which was helped by constant and well-timed updates. The company brought a bigger 1000cc engine in 2010-11. Later in 2012-13, the company launched a completely new version of the Alto 800. The company added CNG variants and Automated Manual transmission to the list which received instant success.
Maruti 800 made it to India in December 1983 and was the first car to be accessible to average Indians which caught the fancy of people. It was also exported to a number of countries in South Asia including Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and was also available in Morocco and selected European markets, sold as the Suzuki Maruti. Maruti Suzuki had commenced a phase out of Maruti 800 beginning in April 2010. Maruti Suzuki did not have plans to upgrade it to BS IV emission norm.
Starting April 2010, Maruti halted sales of the car in 13 major cities – the four metros of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Mumbai and 9 other cities including Kanpur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad,Agra and Surat, where the law made it mandatory for the vehicles sold to be BS IV compliant. The production stopped completely in January 2014.