Thursday, June 12, 2014
By Jitendra Singh
Maruti Alto pulled down by its siblings Dzire and Swift in race
Alto is no more India's largest selling car, and it has been relegated to the third spot, with none other than the DZire, which comes at double the price, taking the number one slot, indicating a growing preference for more expensive cars. With all the top spots taken by Maruti Suzuki, the Swift hatchback grabbed the second position. Alto has been pushed to the third place for the first time in over two-decade of its existence in India, with sales of 17,311 units last month. While the sub-compact sedan DZire sold 18,953 units last month, Swift hatchback sold 17,936 units.
Alto, the cheapest car from Maruti stable, has been the hottest selling thing for the past two decades, but seems to have lost its way over the years as customers switched to fully loaded premium small cars. DZire, launched in 2008, is much richer in features and also carries the option of an automatic variant, which is not available in Alto. Alto, a hatchback powered by an 800cc engine, starts at an ex-showroom price of Rs 2.76 lakh onwards in Delhi while the DZire starts at Rs 5-7.3 lakh, depending on the model. A Maruti spokesperson refused to comment on the brand, but a senior executive said that irrespective of the badge, all the top four best selling cars in India are from the Maruti SuzukiBSE 0.10 % stable.
"It's the right strategy and DZire is proving that. Customers are upgrading to bigger cars and this is the reason why DZire and Swift have emerged as such strong products," the executive added. The success of DZire has led to emergence of several brands in the market and made the compact sedan the fastestgrowing car segment in the country with sales rising 4 per cent in the last fiscal to 2.33 lakh units, even as the car market as a whole shrunk 5 per cent. Banking on the demand for affordable compact sedans, many companies have launched their own models like Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze, Mahindra Verito and Toyota Etios sedan.
Read complete story on Economic Times