Maruti packs another punch with Indias cheapest auto car

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Dec 19 2014, 14:30pm hrs
Car market leader Maruti Suzuki on Monday launched the cheapest auto gear car in the country, the new Alto K10, priced at Rs 3.80 lakh (automated manual transmission variant). The re-designed Alto K10, which offers a more powerful 1,000 cc petrol/CNG engine versus the smaller 800cc engine in the base Alto, now claims 15% higher fuel efficiency (24.07 kmpl) and is priced between R3.06 lakh and R3.81 lakh across six variants.

The Alto K10 would hope to build on the strong success of the Celerio, on which the AMT technology made its local debut, and is now being adopted by Tata Motors for the Zest, Mahindra for the Quanto and Renault for its upcoming small car. For the Celerio, 40% of the 83,000 cars booked since its January launch came for the AMT variant. Aimed at urban buyers, AMT offers the convenience of an automatic gear shift by eliminating gear changes and the clutch, yet is priced at a third of the cost of traditional automatic transmissions. FE had first reported about Maruti's new Alto K10 on May 7.

Kenichi Ayukawa, Maruti's MD & CEO, said, Having won millions of customers we decided to upgrade an already successful car with a full model change that makes Alto K10 taller, wider and roomier. Alto K10 is the third Maruti Suzuki car within few weeks where our suppliers and engineers have improved the fuel efficiency substantially. The Auto Gear Shift with impressive fuel efficiency is another big technology advantage. The Alto K10 will strengthen Maruti Suzukis entry level range and get incremental numbers.

The car gets new styling both on the inside and outside. More aerodynamically designed, the exteriors get bits of chrome and swept-back headlamps. Features include keyless entry, front power windows and a new audio system. The revised 998cc 68PS K-Series petrol engine, which it shares with the Celerio and WagonR, helps it reach 60 kmph within 5.3 seconds. Not only is the engine 15% more fuel efficient, but the CNG version delivers 15% higher fuel economy at 32.36 kmpl, the company claims.

The Alto is the country's largest selling car for about a decade, with volumes in April-September FY15 up 7% at 1.23 lakh units. Over the same period, Maruti's total volumes were up 15% at 5.58 lakh units while the overall passenger vehicle market rose 4% to 12.52 lakh units.

The Maruti Suzuki scrip closed down 1.58% to Rs 3,285.60 on on the BSE on Monday.