The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 has been chosen as the world’s best-selling small car for 2014. It surged ahead of competition such as Volkswagen Golf, Daihatsu Tanto, Toyota Aqua and the Honda Fit.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto entered the Indian market almost 14 years ago and since then has taken up the mantle of sales for the Indian carmaker. Initially it took over from the Maruti Suzuki 800 and then slowly forged a name of its own. It soon topped all in-house charts as the new mass market car. In 2012 the Alto underwent a slight refresh giving us the Alto 800 and a recycled variant, the Alto K10, was recently released. Going by its initial market response, the sales are only going to be higher this year.
Maruti Suzuki offers the Alto 800 in four versions: Base, VX, LX, and LXi in a price range of Rs 2.38 lakh – Rs 3.49 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Alto registered overall sales of 264,544 units in India last year, leaving behind the Volkswagen Golf of Germany with around 255,044 units in its kitty. Close on its heels were Daihatsu Tanto’s 234,456 units, Toyota Aqua’s 233,209 units and the Honda Fit’s with 202,838 units.
A noticeable absence is the name of Brazil in this list. The country is the world’s largest small car market, but its best-selling car for 25 years , the Volkswagen Gol, registered a fall in sales and was beaten by long-time rival Fiat Palio in South America’s biggest car market. In fact, none of the cars in Brazil crossed the 200,000 unit mark in 2014.
Maruti’s small car found itself among the top three in the list for quite some time now but its sales declined every year for the last four years. In 2014, it was well below its peak sales of over 300,000 units in 2011.
In India, Maruti’s hold on the small car segment is well known. Every once in a while the mass market carmaker releases a model that more often than not races to the top of the charts, thanks to their products being affordable, easily manoeverable and easily serviceable. For a first-time car buyer Maruti products are the best bet and this fact is what rival carmakers are out to counter.