India’s largest automaker, Maruti Suzuki, will officially launch the highly anticipated Alto K10 with the intention of appealing to first-time and entry-level car buyers, a segment that has seen one of the biggest drops of recent years. According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), in FY19 the entry-level hatchback segment accounted for 13.6% of passenger vehicle (PV) sales and its share fell to 7 .8% in FY22.
With the new variant of the Alto, the only car to sell 40 lakh units in the country, Maruti aims to establish itself in the segment most affected by inflation. India experienced a sharp rise in inflation after the Russian-Ukrainian war, which led to a spike in crude oil prices in international markets and an increase in commodity prices.
“The entry-level car segment is expected to continue to be under pressure in the medium term, as first-time buyers ignore the micro/mini-car segment and buy compact/super compact/UV cars outright. In the short term, OEMs are expected to continue to focus on higher-margin segments like premium sedans or compact UVs amid semiconductor shortages, which could limit segment volumes,” said Rohan Kanwar Gupta, Vice President and Sector Head, Corporate Ratings, ICRA Limited said Given the shift in consumer preferences towards a safer and relatively upmarket compact segment, ICRA believes that the mini segment is expected to continue to underperform overall industry growth over the medium term.
The company has remodeled the sedan with new features and the car is based on its older brother Celerio’s heartech platform. Maruti had discontinued the previous Alto K10 in April 2020 due to the introduction of BS6 emission standards. The price is expected to be between Rs 4 and 6 lakh, bookings for the sedan have already started at Arena dealerships nationwide for a token amount of Rs 11,000.
The car will come with a touchscreen infotainment system that will be compatible with Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay in the best variants, along with safety features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, sensors reverse parking lots and will compete with Renault Kwid and S-Presso on the domestic market.
Also Read : Maruti Suzuki Launches All-New Alto K10 Soon