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File photo of Maruti Suzuki Alto.
File photo of Maruti Suzuki Alto.

Alto completes 20 years in India: Five reasons for its dominance

  • Maruti Alto was first launched in India in 2000. 10 lakh units of Alto were sold in eight years.
  • Alto hit the 20 lakh mark in 2012 and the 30 lakh mark by 2016.

Maruti Suzuki Alto has been a trusted and preferred option for countless households - 40 lakh to be exact - over the course of two decades since being launched in India. At a time when a plethora of options exist in every segment in the Indian car market, the entry-level segment remains the most closely watched, also because it fulfills aspirations of buyers who want to upgrade from bikes and scooters to vehicles. As such, several products have been launched over the past several years - some very capable and affordable, but Alto has held on to the crown with equal doses of determination and stubborn-ness.

Determination and stubborn-ness alone may not ensure consistent success and so, here are five factors that have actively helped Alto to continuously lead the way in its segment:

  • Price: Affordability is the most important factor in the segment in which Alto competes in. It is also the factor that perhaps helps Alto the most. It had an attractive price proposition back in 2000 when it was first launched and at an ex showroom starting price of just under 3 lakh currently, remains a cost-effective way for families to upgrade to a car.
  • Post-sales support and brand trust: Maruti's post-sales network across the country is well known and well-established. Not only is the service network the most widespread but the costs are also comparatively affordable. And while rivals have done well to bring service costs down, it is the brand image of Maruti that is continuing to help Alto's case.
  • Timely updates: Is Alto the safest car around? No. Has it ever been raved about for its safety? No. That said, Maruti claims that safety highlights of the Alto have constantly been upgraded with passing time to ensure each update is better than the previous one. Additionally, the Alto's exterior design and cabin features have been upgraded from time to time to help it take on newer rivals with more energy. It may not evoke second glances but Alto also doesn't quite evoke a rigid disdain - whether when being looked at or when inside.
  • Fuel efficiency: Indian car buyers have gone from primarily focusing on mileage to now also giving priority to looks, features and safety highlights. And yet, fuel efficiency remains as relevant as ever - especially to buyers in Alto's segment and also because of the sky-high fuel prices in current time. The car claims a certified fuel efficiency of 22.05 kmpl and that it is also offered with a factory-fitted CNG kit opens up more options for the prospective buyer.
  • Re-sale value: Re-sale value of a Maruti car, much like the post-sales network, is also well established. Alto gains from being a reliable performer that continues to be, more often than not, reliable in the hands of subsequent own

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