We’ve done some mystery shopping over the weekend and learnt that Maruti dealers are finding it hard to move the Alto 800 from showroom floors. The car, which was launched towards the end of October last year, doesn’t seem to be the hit Maruti had originally anticipated.
As a part of the deal, you get Rs 20,000 off as cash discount and an additional Rs 10,000 off as exchange bonus
According to dealers, there are two reasons for this. One, prospective buyers entering the showroom to buy the Alto 800 often end up buying the Alto K10, which boasts of a more powerful engine and features for just around Rs 30,000 - 40,000 more. This translates into an additional Rs 700 - 1,000 over a five year EMI for most buyers.
The second reason is that the Alto 800 is seen as a bare-basic model, akin to the original 800 and a natural rival to the Tata Nano rather than the relatively upmarket Hyundai Eon. Most customers aren’t very keen on the image they get from driving around in India’s second cheapest car and end up buying the K10 or decide to shop elsewhere instead.
Maruti’s sales and marketing team knows about this and is offering a meaty discount of Rs 30,000 on the car. As a part of the deal, you get Rs 20,000 off as cash discount and an additional Rs 10,000 off as exchange bonus. This is a little over 10 percent of the car's on-road price, making it sensational value. But will buyers be willing to take the plunge?
(We approached Maruti for their side of the story, but they were unavailable for a comment.)