Maruti Suzuki expects 20 percent of new Alto K10 sales from AMT version

by Shobha Mathur 04 Nov 2014

As part of its strategy to strengthen its hold in the entry level car market, market leader Maruti Suzuki India has rolled out its next generation Alto K10 that boasts a 15 percent higher fuel efficiency than its outgoing predecessor.

Priced at Rs 3.06L for the base LX petrol model, the new Alto K10 will be on offer in both CNG and auto gear shift (AGS) that is also fitted in the earlier launched Celerio hatchback. The CNG LXi trim level of the Alto K10 is priced at Rs 3.81L while the VXi AGS  costs Rs 3.80L, all introductory ex-showroom Delhi prices. The top end petrol (MT) VXi (O) costs Rs 3.56L.

Kenichi Ayukawa managing director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki,  told Autocar Professional on the sidelines of the launch that the existing Alto was selling around 20,000 units monthly and a 10 percent increase is expected from its next generation successor. “The old Alto K10 is being phased out but the Alto 800 will continue. Since its launch 14 years ago, the Alto has sold over 2.6 million cars out of which  4 lakh cars were sold in the last 4 years of the Alto K10.”

While the auto gear shift option constitutes almost 40 percent of the Celerio sales, the demand for the Alto VXi AGS is expected to be lower at about 20 percent and then gradually pick up. But Ayukawa says that over the next few years, AGS will contribute about 30-40 percent of the company’s total product basket of small cars and looks forward to the localisation of the AGS kits by next year to meet demand for higher volumes. He is also optimistic that most sales of the AGS Alto K10 will be drawn from youth in urban cities. 

The AGS version of the Alto K10 costs Rs 45,000 more than the base petrol version and CV Raman executive director -engineering says that the company is waiting to see the response of the customers to the higher price Alto model before it ramps up production of the AGS variant. In the entry level segment the AGS will be a new feature.

Maruti Suzuki has invested Rs 200 crore in the development of the next gen Alto K10 with MSIL engineers working on it in India supported by a Suzuki team over a 33 month period. Raman says that export of the next gen Alto K10 is slated to commence to Latin America, Africa and Middle East countries in a couple of months while the Celerio exports have already kicked off to right hand drive markets. But he indicates that globally, demand for automated manual transmissions is not so high.

Meanwhile, detailing the enhancements in the next gen Alto K10, Ayukawa said that the Alto K10 is 15 percent more fuel efficient, delivering best in class 24.07kmpl while being taller, wider and roomier than its predecessor. “ALtoK10 is the third Maruti Suzuki car within a 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 wider range of the Alto K10 comes with 6 variants including a CNG and will strengthen Maruti Suzuki’s entry level range and get incremental numbers.”

Under its hood lies the 998cc K-next all aluminium light weight engine. The new Alto K10 accelerates from 0 to 60kmph in 5.3 seconds. The next gen manual transmission offers improved gearshift performance by use of detent pin technology and diagonal shift assist. Gear ratios have been optimised for better drive and fuel economies. The AGS facilitates comfortable driving in stop-go traffic conditions in cities.

Use of high tensile steel, lightening of the engine unit by redesigning the engine and use of light weight materials in engine auxiliaries have helped bring down kerb weight. Low viscosity engine oil and low drag brake calliper reduces frictional losses while drive by wire by ensures precise throttle control, leading to fuel savings. The new Alto K10 comes with a driver side airbag as optional, front fog lamps, fasten seat belt indicators, 3 point ELR seat belt, key off reminder, high mount stop lamp and head lamp levelling. 

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