New Delhi: The manufacture of the country’s highest selling car, Maruti Suzuki Alto800 will be stopped in the coming year. Despite selling more than 20,000 units a month, the car is slated to be discontinued due to newer emission and safety norms.
Redoing older models is ‘complex to design’ and to ‘equip them with ABS and air bags’ is not cost-effective, Deepak Sawkar, Senior Vice President- Engineering, Research, Design & Development (Chassis) of Maruti Suzuki told NDTV Car and Bike.
The challenge is to redesign smaller A-segment cars, which are 3.6metres in length as there is no space to add crumple zones for frontal, frontal off-set or side impacts. Also adding modern catalytic converters to the old 800cc engines is tough given space and design constraints.
According to Sawkar, 60 per cent of Maruti’s current products comply with the upcoming Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) norms. Emission wise too, the cars exceed BSVI requirements. He also hinted that the Maruti Eeco, the company’s only van, is being redesigned from scratch to meet the norms.
The company hasn’t commented on producing a replacement for Alto800, but it is safe to say that there must be something in the works considering that the Alto800 has been a cash cow for the company.