Maruti Suzuki’s Alto range of vehicles is expected to hit the three million sales mark by next month. Introduced in 2000, the Alto line up was set to replace the legendary 800 model but sold alongside as a slightly more premium option it till October 2012 when the Alto 800 was introduced.
The Alto series now comprises the Alto 800 as well as the Alto K10. The latter is powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine and can also be had with an automated manual transmission or AGS as Maruti Suzuki likes to call it.
Reports suggest that it took Maruti Suzuki eight years to crack the million mark while the two million barrier was breached within the next four years. It appears that the three million mark has come much earlier than expected thanks mostly to the way the Indian car market has grown in the past few years.
Given that the Alto ran unchallenged in the Indian market for a long time, it should come as no surprise that the Alto has managed to achieve this mark. However, now the situation is a bit different as the Alto series faces competition from the likes of the Hyundai Eon, Renault Kwid, Datsun Go and the Tata Nano. While there may be no immediate effect on its numbers, the implementation of the 2018 crash test norms is expected to raise prices across the industry and it remains to be seen if Maruti Suzuki will be able to retain its lead over the segment.
Among this range it looks like the Renault Kwid which has got over 80,000 bookings in less than a year and will soon have 1.0-litre and AMT variants may have the firepower to challenge the Alto for its throne.