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Maruti Alto – India’s Best Selling Car for 16 consecutive Years!

Maruti Suzuki India today announced that its entry level hatchback – Alto becomes India’s bestseller for 16 years in a row!

Launched in September 2000, Alto has been the preferred choice for first time car buyers and is on the verge of selling 4 million units in the Indian subcontinent. The model shall also complete 2 decades of existence in the Indian market by Sep’2020. Speaking on this achievement, Mr Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India Limited said, “Consistently setting new benchmarks in the Indian auto Industry, Alto is the undisputed leader in India for 16 years in a row establishing its dominance in the competitive entry segment. owing to its unparalleled performance, compact design, easy maneuverability, high fuel-efficiency, affordability and timely convenience and safety related upgrades. Backed by a strong legacy, Alto continues to appeal to customers across the length and breadth of the country, with 76% customers choosing it as their 1st car.”

The Milestones achieved by the car is as highlighted by the OEM – 

The first generation was essentially the Indian-built version of the fifth generation Japanese Alto, while the second generation Alto was a standalone model developed mainly for Indian market. The first generation was launched in the local Indian market on 27 September 2000, although the Alto nameplate had been successfully used to export the Maruti Zen to Europe from India since around 1994! The first generation existed in the Indian market for over 12 years and a new version (2nd gen) of the Alto called the Alto 800 was released in the Indian car market on 16 October 2012. Maruti later launched a K10-powered version of the second generation Alto on 3 November 2014. We showcase how Maruti Alto’s sales has been since its launch – 

  1. Maruti Suzuki India has sold over 39.7 Lakh Alto’s in the past 237 months in the Indian market.

  2. It would be India’s first model to cross 40 Lakh units shortly! No other model is even close to this number.

  3. Since launch; Alto has averaged a sale of about 16,786 units per month! Maruti itself hasn’t been able to replicate such success with any other model.

  4. The highest per month volume achieved by the Maruti Alto was 38,065 units! – It achieved this feat on March 2011. It was in the same year (2011), Maruti Alto registered its all time highest yearly sale of 3,11,367 units. Many OEMs with their entire portfolio have failed to achieve such kind of volumes.

  5. Maruti became India’s best selling car in the year 2004; the same year it crossed 1 Lakh unit sales. Since 2004; there isn’t a single year that Alto recorded <1 Lakh unit volumes. Also since 2006; Alto volumes have not dropped below 2 Lakh sales in any year!

A look at Maruti Alto’s Sales Graph over the past 20 years – 

  1. Maruti Alto hasn’t seen any real threat/competition in its lifetime. Though many worthy offerings were launch by other OEMs; Alto retained its top slot by a huge margin.

  2. The competition models that did give Alto the jitters were – Tata’s Nano & Renault’s Kwid. Do note that Alto’s volumes dipped in 2007-08 (post the announcement of Tata Nano). However; Maruti pepped up volumes in 2009-10 to fight competition. Dip in volumes was also seen on Kwid’s launch (September 2015); the numbers dipped over 27k units in 2016 v/s 2015.

  3. The model also saw a dip in 2019 due to the ongoing slowdown and has been able to sell 49,170 units in the first 5 months of the year.

Alto was also Maruti’s first entry-level car to meet the BS6 emission regulation. The current BS6 Alto offers a fuel efficiency of 22.05 km/l for Petrol and 31.56 km/kg for CNG. The model is still going strong and has still huge fan following for the first time buyers. Maruti has perfected the price, feature, looks combination with Alto and has been unchallenged by competition. The model is going to create history by crossing 4 million units sales in the coming months and has done more than it was expected by Maruti Suzuki!


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