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India 1985-2004: Maruti 800 dominates

Launched in December 1984 in India, the Maruti 800 was originally based on the 1979 Suzuki Fronte, before being replaced by a rebadged version of the 1984 Suzuki Alto in 1986.

It was India’s best selling car for 20 years, from 1985 to 2004 and over 2.5 million units of the model have been sold in India during that period. More info on the Maruti 800 here.

In 2004, Maruti decided to cut the price of the more modern Maruti Alto, with the result being sales of the Alto skyrocketed. The Maruti Alto first passed the 800 in May 2004 with 10,373 sales vs. 10,016 for the 800, and reiterated that feat 6 more times during the year. However the Maruti 800 kept its best selling title one last time in 2004 at 132,706 sales vs. 112,048 for the Alto.

Top 10 2004 Ranking Table and Alto/800 monthly comparison: click on ‘Read more’ below the original Maruti 800 pic.

The original 1984 Maruti 800DX

India Full Year 2004:

1Maruti 800132,706-22%170,624
2Maruti Alto112,048166%42,161
3Hyundai Santro104,74812%93,854
4Tata Indica98,400n/a
5Maruti Wagon R73,16469%43,217
6Maruti Zen67,8209%62,294
7Toyota Qualis36,698n/a
8Honda City35,414111%16,786
9Tata Indigo34,21032%25,976
10Tata Sumo30,006n/a

2004 Maruti 800 – Maruti Alto comparison

2004 monthMaruti 800Maruti Alto
Jan-March average14,7868,565
1st Half 200469,63445,419
Oct-December average8,1059,106
2nd Half 200463,07266,629

India Fiscal Year 2002-2003 (April 2002 to March 2003):

1Maruti 800145,223
2Hyundai Santro85,834
3Tata Indica72,978
4Maruti Zen62,573
Maruti Wagon R31,918
Maruti Alto25,713
Fiat Palio23,041
Hyundai Accent20,343

Source: Murad Baig Associates, Wikipedia

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