The Maruti Suzuki Alto was introduced in the Indian market back in September 2000 to slot in between the 800 and the Zen. Since its launch, the Alto has been one of the top-selling cars humbled only by the other Maruti Suzuki in the market, the 800. Now, Maruti Suzuki has revealed that the Alto has become the second car in its history to breach the 25 lakh mark in domestic sales figures.
Manohar Bhat Vice President (Marketing), Maruti Suzuki India said, "Launched in 2000, the Alto has attained the 25 lakh milestone in less than 14 years, the fastest by any brand; we are overwhelmed and humbled by its popularity."
The Maruti Suzuki 800 is the only other car in the Indian market to have achieved this feat. The 800 was the first Maruti Suzuki car to be launched in India and was the country’s favourite for a long time. But when BSIV emission norms came into force, Maruti Suzuki announced that they would not be upgrading the 800 to suit the new regulations. This meant that the sale of Maruti Suzuki 800 was restricted to only Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Ever since, the Alto has been holding the top position and even the initial frenzy created by Tata Nano could not dethrone it.
Since 2000, the Alto has gone through many facelifts and upgrades, though the biggest makeover was given only in 2012, with the introduction of Alto 800. The Alto 800 got new bodywork and interiors, though it continues to use the 800cc three-cylinder petrol engine producing 48bhp and 69Nm of torque. Another major update was the Alto K10 which was launched with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine producing 67bhp and 90Nm of torque.
The Alto has come a long way from being just a basic barebones car and is now available with AC and optional airbags and can be even be bought with a CNG kit. The Alto range in India starts at Rs 2.38 lakh for the base LXi and goes all the way upto Rs 3.49 lakh for the top-end LXi CNG variant while the Alto K10 is priced at Rs 3.15 lakh, all ex-showroom Delhi. The Alto range goes up against other budget hatchbacks in the country like Hyundai Eon, Datsun GO, Hyundai Santro Xing and Tata Nano.