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Maruti Suzuki’s all New Alto May Have 660cc Variant

In the next-generation Alto, we may see Maruti Suzuki coming up with a smaller but more powerful engine. This ultra-refined 660cc petrol motor, will be more fuel efficient and will be compliant with BS-VI emission norms

Maruti Suzuki India, which is working on the next-generation Alto hatchback for the domestic market, is likely to come up with a 660c variant additionally. Expected to be rolled out by 2019-end, the A1 segment car will be priced equivalent to the current BS-IV compliant (800cc)variant at Rs. 2.5 lakh (approx.).It will be based on an all-new, lightweight platform, which will also be spawninghigher-spec variants such as Alto 800 (with/without similar styling elements). It is widely believed that the all-new Alto will be lighter, more fuel-efficient and faster than the current-gen model and will comply with all the safety and emission regulations. If speculation is to be believed, the low-spec variant can even deliver a mileage of 30km/l.

According to a source privy to the development, “In the next-generation Alto, we may see Maruti Suzuki coming up with a smaller but more powerful engine. This ultra-refined 660cc petrol motor, will be more fuel efficient and will be compliant with BS-VI emission norms. However, due to its high-end technology its price tag will be equivalent to or slightly higher than the current 800cc (BS-IV) variant. This will be a win-win situation for customers as they get access to better technology with better mileage at a little extra price.”

The official spokesperson of Maruti Suzuki, when contacted by BW Businessworld, “As a company policy, we do not talk about future models and product plans.”

It may be recalled that in the middle of 2015, Maruti’s Suzuki had announced plans to launch around 15 new models in the next five years in its bid to notch up two million units annually by 2020. While nine models have already been launched, another six such as the all-new Swift are on the anvil

“With fierce competition from Renault Kwid and Datsun redi-Go, Maruti Suzuki developing a next generation Alto with a 660cc variant is not very surprising. This will definitely help the company strengthen its presence in A-segment and also regain some of its share which it has lost to global players like Renault and Datsun.  This segment is very critical in India with car penetration still below 35/1,000. In the next decade, we may see a rush of buyers looking to upgrade from two wheelers and graduate to A&B segments. This trend in small cities along with better dealer reach will certainly fuel sales of minicar segments,”said Puneet Gupta, associate director at IHS Markit, a market research firm.

Even though Maruti Suzuki lords over 45 per cent marketshare of the country’s passenger vehicle market, its market share in the A segment dropped thanks to competition from Renault Kwid, redi-Go, etc. Moreover, the company’s focus over the last three years has largely been on premium and utility vehicle segments where it has introduced Baleno, Brezza, Ignis, S-Cross, etc. With the launch of the all-new Alto, the carmaker is confident of regaining the lost market share in the minicar segment.Although product details remain sketchy, it is widely believed that the all-new Alto will be lighter, more fuel-efficient and faster than the current-gen model.

Meanwhile, media reports suggest that Maruti Suzuki has already started the development of the all-new Alto (internally codenamed Y1K) at its R&D centre at Rohtak, Haryana in association with its parent company Suzuki’s mother unit at Japan. Although, the platform development may still happen in Japan, the engineering, design and validation for the said model will be done by the Indian subsidiary keeping in mind the local tastes and conditions. The country’s largest carmaker will also be spending an additional Rs. 2,000 crore over the next three years to boost its R&D capabilities taking its total investment at Rohtak to Rs 3,800 crore.


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