The Maruti 800, one of the biggest selling car models in Indian history is slowly being phased out by Maruti Suzuki as the Alto takes over the 800′s place in most Indian towns and cities. When the BS4 emission norms kicked in during 2010, Maruti made a conscious attempt to not upgrade the Maruti 800 to the tighter emission norms. The result was that the Maruti 800 was only available in BS3 cities and towns leading to sales slowing down appreciably even as the Maruti Alto became the new entry level model for Maruti.
Now Maruti, in a bid to expand its model portfolio in the entry level car segment is all set to develop another 800cc car that could sell alongside the Maruti Alto. Recently, we had a scoop of the supposed new Maruti 800 arriving sit below the Alto and take on the top end variants of the Tata Nano. This however, doesn’t seem too likely now as Maruti is talking about positioning the new 800cc car alongside the Maruti Alto instead of launching the model under the Alto’s price point. However, the new 800cc car will be based on the existing platform, which most likely will be that of the Alto.
Here’s what Maruti’s managing executive officer (engineering) IV Rao, had to say about the automaker’s plans for the new 800cc small car.
This will be an all-new car, though based on an existing platform. The idea is to do it in-house at Maruti, with minimal support from our Japanese parent, Suzuki. The idea behind the model was to constantly introduce new models while also developing the company’s R&D capability to develop, design and engineer a model on its own. This will be an all-new car, though based on an existing platform. The idea is to do it in-house at Maruti, with minimal support from our Japanese parent, Suzuki.
With this latest bit of buzz emerging about the new 800cc small car from the Maruti stable, the car that was scooped a while ago could be this very car that we’re talking about here. All said, we’re still thinking that the Maruti 800′s price point will be something that Maruti simply cannot choose to ignore as the new 800cc small car model provides the automaker with a great opportunity to target that segment of Indian car buying populace which is currently buying the top end variants of the Tata Nano.