Maruti to roll out India's cheapest automatic car with Alto

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

Maruti Suzuki is driving in the country's cheapest automatic car early next month. The company has chosen its Alto 1000cc model for the automatic variant, which is expected to be priced at under Rs 4 lakh.

The company focused on the automatic category with the Celerio compact and plans to introduce it on other models in the coming time, sales & marketing head R S Kalsi said.

Alto's automatic variant will use the Auto-Gear Shift (AGS) technology that the company had deployed on Celerio. Of nearly 83,500 units of Celerio booked so far, around 40 per cent are running with the AGS technology.

Kalsi said the company expects a strong response to the automatic variant on Alto too. "We saw a healthy demand in case of Celerio where the automatic variant now commands a huge waiting list. The demand is expected to remain strong even in the case of Alto."

Alto is the country's largest-selling model and Maruti decided to introduce AGS on the 1000cc version of the model and not on the 800cc version. The new car will also see changes in the exterior as well as interior when compared to existing Alto K10. Maruti said new Alto will have a fuel efficiency of 24 kmpl.

Kalsi did not confirm the exact price of the model, which will be announced only at the launch. Introduction of an automatic variant with Alto is expected to put a big pressure on Maruti's rivals like Hyundai, Honda and Toyota, who do not have automatic variants under Rs 4 lakh.

Automatic variants are handy in heavy traffic conditions, especially in metros, and are popular with women drivers. Kalsi said the new Alto will also be targeted at export markets like Latin America and Africa and shipments will start from next month itself.