Revamped version of Maruti Suzuki Alto to be rolled out this festive season
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The most popular car of the country, Maruti Suzuki Alto, is all set to get a makeover this Diwali. Since new cars like Hyundai Eonhad been posing challenges to the model, it was necessary for the largest car maker of the country to update it in order to keep the sales going. The changes likely to be made in the coming months will make this car more fuel efficient and performance-oriented as well as appealing.
Although trial production of the newly designed car has begun, its manufacturing will gain momentum only when the company’s production plant, which is currently under maintenance, will open by early July. It is believed that the commercial production of the new model would begin at the manufacturer's Gurgaon plant by last week of July. Analysts speculate that the revamped car would be priced between Rs. 2.5 and 3.5 lacs.
It has been 12 years since Alto hit the Indian roads and the last makeover for the model was in 2010, when the Alto K10 model was introduced in the country. The K10 variant, which has a more powerful 1 litre engine, was received favourably and accounts for about 40 per cent of its sales. It is, therefore, expected that the new iteration of the car would increase the sales volumes of the car as well, which have dipped in recent times. Compared to August-September 2010, when the car’s sales stood at approximately 35,000 units, it has come down to 16,000 units in the last few months, a huge decline of almost 50 per cent in just two years. The rising petrol prices have been blamed for this.
A company official said, “We would expect to launch this around September. Ideally, we will stop producing the existing model, but it depends on the demand. Some production may continue for exports.” Another senior official speaking about this development said, “The plan is that the new Alto will replace the current 800cc model, while the Maruti 800 and the Alto K10 will continue in the current form.”
The new model will have the F8D 800cc powertrain which is better known for excellent mileage and decent performance. However, a few more changes have been made in the motor so as to yield better results. According to reports, the new model has undergone modifications on the exteriors as well as in the cabin, though it still retains the overall look of the present version of Alto. The dashboard of the car will reflect a combination of the dashboards of SX4 sedan and A-Star compact, while the headlights will be similar to that of Ford Figo.
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