The Telegraph
Wednesday , October 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Maruti smarts from petrol punch

New Delhi, Oct. 16: Maruti Suzuki expects to grow only 3-5 per cent this year, down from an earlier projection of 10 per cent.

“High petrol prices are impacting our sales badly as most of our best selling models are in this mode. We are expecting to grow 3-5 per cent this fiscal,” Maruti Suzuki India managing director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi said today.

Although diesel prices have gone up, it will take some time to bring back customers to petrol cars again, he added.

The company, however, is hoping to clock good numbers during the upcoming festive season, mainly on the back of a good demand for its new Alto 800, which was unveiled today.

The petrol variant of the new Alto has been priced between Rs 2.44 lakh and Rs 2.99 lakh compared with the existing Alto, which is priced between Rs 2.49 lakh and Rs 3 lakh. The car promises a fuel efficiency of 22.74 km per litre. The existing Alto delivers a mileage of 19.7 km per litre.

The new CNG variant has been priced between Rs 3.19 lakh and Rs 3.56 lakh compared with Rs 2.97-3.48 lakh for the existing one. Maruti Suzuki claims that the new CNG Alto has a fuel efficiency of 30.46 km per kg.

Designed and developed in-house over a period of four years, the Alto 800, with angular headlights and stylish tail lights, is available in four variants — Standard, LX, LXi and LXi with airbag.

“We had started the booking for this new Alto from late September and before the launch, we have received over 10,000 bookings,” Nakanishi said.

Maruti Suzuki chief operating officer (marketing and sales) Mayank Pareek said a 15 per cent rise in sales was expected during the festival season.

The new model will directly compete with Hyundai’s Eon, which is priced between Rs 2.75 lakh and Rs 3.81 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Nakanishi said, “Around 200 engineers from Suzuki Motor Corporation and Maruti Suzuki were jointly involved in the development of the new Alto.”