India’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India wants to regain their 50% market share in the Indian auto industry. Currently Maruti’s market share is down to less than 40%, thanks to last year’s workers strike at their manufacturing plant in Manesar, Haryana. But now, Maruti is ready to flex their muscles, as they have the backing of huge investments and plans in place to increase output.
Around Diwali festival this year, Maruti Suzuki is expected to replace their 800 cc small car – Alto with a new small car. This new small car from Maruti will also be powered by the same 800 cc petrol engine which powers the current Alto, but this new Maruti small car will be priced lower than Alto. The new Maruti small hatch will have a seating capacity for adults and a boot space enough to carry luggage.
On the condition of anonymity, a top level official from the Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. Camp, stated, “The work on the car is going on and the company is planning to launch it before Diwali. The car will be priced below Alto and above that of the Maruti 800. This will be a big booster for the company. At present, the company is working on the pricing of the diesel variant.”
This new small hatchback from Maruti is being launched to compete with the new Tata Nano and Hyundai Eon. During April this year, Maruti’s small car sales declined by as much as 26.4%, as only 30,720 units of Wagon R, Alto, A Star, and M800 were sold, compared to 41,744 units sold in April 2011.
Maruti Alto is currently available in two variants – 800cc and 998cc K10. On an average, Maruti Suzuki sells 25,000 units of Alto every month. But this number has gone down. According to an executive at Maruti’s part supplier, “Alto’s [both 800cc and K10] production has declined to less than 1,100 a day from a peak of 1,500.” But he also added that once the new Alto is launched, “Maruti is expected to give us a higher [part] supply schedule for the new Alto as it expects sales to grow after the launch.”