India's most popular car Maruti Suzuki Alto crossed the one million production mark yesterday. A Silky Silver, Alto Lxi bearing Chassis no 1126046 rolled off the production line as the millionth Alto, late last evening at the company's Gurgaon plant.
The Alto has crossed the million units mark in just seven years and five months since its launch. Of this, the last 5 lakh units (half a million) have come in a record 25 months. Alto has been India's largest selling car, every month, for the past 37 months.
The Alto was launched in September 2000, and customers accorded a rousing reception to the "hottest little thing". Its popularity has continued to grow, with customers attracted to its unmatched combination of fuel efficiency, contemporary design and looks and features including Electronic Power Steering and air-conditioning.
Safety features like the collapsible steering column and booster assisted brakes reassure customers, and add to the popularity of the Alto. Like other Maruti Suzuki models, Alto is equipped with iCATS - a factory fitted immobilizer system that prevents theft of the car.
Besides its huge success in India, over 1.5 lakh units Alto have been exported.
With this Alto becomes the third car in Maruti Suzuki stable to cross the million units mark. Previously, Maruti 800 and Omni have crossed the million units mark.
The Alto is offered in three variants - Alto Standard, Alto Lx and Alto Lxi.
The top end variant, Alto LXi, outsells the other variants, reflecting the trend that customers now prefer cars that are high on features compared to basic models
Another interesting trend associated with the brand Alto is its pan-India recognition. Alto's popularity touches smaller towns as well as upmarket localities of big cities.
Alto has many records against its name.
First car brand to sell over 2 lakh units in the domestic market in a single financial year (in 2006-07)
Alto recorded its highest ever monthly sales of 22,784 units in November 2007. This is the highest ever-domestic sales achieved by any car in India in a month
Awards and accolades
Some of the finest advertising campaigns like 'Lets Go- Alto' and 'Boondon Mein', have helped Alto become a bestseller. Alto's "Boondon Mein" TV commercial has been accorded the Silver medal at the prestigious "EFFIE Award" for two consecutive years, 2006 & 2007
In its launch year, 2000, Alto was acclaimed as "Car of the Year" and "Most Exciting New Car of the Year" by India’s leading automobile magazines.
In 2003, Alto became the first Indian car to undergo a "24-hour endurance test" and set 13 national records for speed and performance at the event conducted independently by a leading automobile magazine.
Alto was rated first in Initial Quality in its segment in JD Power IQS (Initial Quality Study) for 2 years i.e 2004 & 2005
Alto's International exposure
Besides its success in India, over 152,000 Alto made at Maruti Suzuki are plying internationally. While Netherlands has the highest numbers (over 22,000 units) the Alto has recently made big inroads in Algeria and Chile already each selling over 7,000 units in this fiscal. Over 21,335 Altos have been exported this fiscal.