Maruti Suzuki today said the launch of its new 800 cc small car will be delayed from its proposed schedule during Diwali this year due to the violence at Manesar plant.
"Yes, we have to reschedule the launch of the 800 cc car because of the violence at Manesar plant," said Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi.
He, however, said if the company is able to recover quickly from the impact, the launch may take place as planned.
The company had earlier said it will introduce a new 800cc car during Diwali this year that will be more fuel efficient, but also more expensive, than its existing best selling model Alto.
The company was scheduled to start commercial production of the car at its Gurgaon facility from July or August.
It is understood that MSI has upgraded the existing engine and platform of the Alto instead of a complete overhaul in order to reduce development costs.
The company has stopped selling its bread-and-butter model M800 in specific cities, where Bharat Stage IV emission norms are applicable as the car does not meet the stringent parameters.
Although MSI is still selling its first model in the country in other places, it had categorically ruled out upgrading it. The M800 will be naturally phased out once emission norms are upgraded in rest of the country.
Alto is MSI's best selling car so far. However, in recent times, the monthly sales have fallen to about 20,000 units, including Alto K10, from about 30,000 units earlier due to factors like high interest rates and rising petrol costs. Huge stock of petrol cars are lying at the dealers level now.
In fact, MSI had in May stopped production of petrol models, like the Alto, M800, A-Star, Estilo and Omni for three days to prevent inventory pile up.