Iconic Maruti 800 set to drive into history in 13 cities

by Rameshraj 2010-02-12 16:01:57

NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki India said it will bring the curtains down on its once bread-and-butter car Maruti 800 from April. India's largest carmaker, has no plans to upgrade its lowest- priced Maruti 800 model to meet Euro IV emissions standards, chairman R C Bhargava said on Friday.

Maruti 800, made its debut back in 1982. Bhargava said sales of the model would be discontinued in 13 cities from April.

The carmaker, whose hatchback bouquet includes M800, Alto, WagonR, Estilo, A-Star, Ritz and Swift, is now looking to reduce the number of its vehicle platforms. This will mean phasing out of some products that don’t meet emission norms.

The cities where BSIV norms will set in from April 2010 are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kanpur, Ahmedabad, Surat and Agra. Other cities will come under BSIII norms, making it possible for the company to sell the cars. However, these would also come under BSIV norms by around 2015-16, that would finally mean phase-out of the two models.

Companies ranging from Toyota to Volkswagen to Ford and Nissan are gearing up to launch small cars in India. Meanwhile, homegrown auto major Tata Motors has also usurped the tag of entry-level carmaker from Maruti Suzuki by launching the Nano, priced significantly below the M800.

Maruti had earlier phased out one of its brands Zen. Even as it launches more and more new cars to keep customers within its fold by offering a wide basket of products, the company is also looking to sharpen its edge by making the Alto — its most successful model — even more price efficient.

Maruti is 54.2 percent owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp

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