A company official said "A replacement for the 800cc model makes sense as it hasn't been selling very aggressively at about 2,000 units a month. This will be a totally new small car, though based on an existing platform."
A Peek Into the Past:
Maruti 800 was launched in the year 1983 and it was the first passenger vehicle aimed at the middle class family. The first unit was handed over to an Air Force officer. Over the last three decades, the brand has sold approximately 2.7 million units of the Maruti 800.
Considered to be an inexpensive and practical family drive, the 800 is popular even to this day. When it was launched, it was a very good alternative to the then popular Padmini and the Ambassador models. It is interesting how the car has held its own amidst stiff competition from other makes and also its own sibling Alto.
A slump in sales was witnessed when better models with improved features, fuel efficiency and mileage were launched in similar price brackets. The stringent BSIV emission norms, was yet another obstacle. Owing to these glitches, the car was sold in semi-urban and rural areas of India. Maruti Suzuki decided to stop selling the 800 model in 11 cities across India. However, despite these measures, the company successfully sells 2, 000 units of Maruti 800 every month.
Despite lower sales volumes, the company refrained from announcing the discontinuation of Maruti 800 till now. But now announcements are being made that India's most popular family car will have a replacement. What the new car has to offer and if it will be an effective replacement for the 800, time will tell.
By: Amrith K. A.