Maruti Suzuki on Monday unveiled a new version of its entry-level model Alto with automatic gear shift technology, a feature usually reserved for pricier cars in the market.
Cars with automatic transmission have the potential to be popular in a India due to poor condition of roads and traffic snarl-ups. Priced at Rs. 380,187, Alto K10 is the cheapest car with automatic gear shift.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), Kenichi Ayukawa, said Alto K10 is the company's bestselling brand in Indian markets.
"We decided to upgrade an already successful car and went in for this full model change. Brand Alto has always been popular for attractive design, performance and fuel efficiency. So, the next generation, Alto K10 offers more in all these parameters," said Kenichi.
Maruti Suzuki is preparing for what it has said will be a period of slower sales in the coming months. Sales of Maruti's passenger cars fell 1.1 percent in October from a year ago, breaking five consecutive months of increase.
Kenichi added that part of the effort to counter the slow return to health is a move up-market, to cash in on India's growing urban middle class and improving consumer sentiments.
Passenger car sales in India, expected to be the third-largest market by 2018, are forecast to rise between 5 and 10 percent this fiscal year, after two years of declining sales.