New Delhi, Oct 14: The country's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), has received 6,500 pre-launch bookings for the new, upgraded Alto 800. However, this is in sharp contrast with 50,000 units that the company's premium hatchback, the new Maruti Suzuki Swift, recorded before its launch in August 2011.
"Despite the price remaining unknown to customers, who have not seen the car fully, we have received 6,500 bookings of the new Alto. At this rate, we are confident that it will cross 10,000 when we launch the car on October 16," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said.
The company had earlier this month opened pre-launch bookings of the new Alto that offers improved fuel efficiency of 22.74 kmpl, which is 15 per cent higher than the previous model. Apart from its new design, it has also other features such improved gear shift and more leg room for rear passengers.
Sounding bullish on the new car, Pareek said: "The initial indication and response is very encouraging to us." He, however, declined to put a number on how many units the company expects to sell per month.
Brokerage firm Prabhudas Liladher, which spoke to MSI's vendors and component manufacturers said the carmaker is aiming for a daily production of 800 units for the new Alto.
"According to our interaction with the vendors/component manufacturers of MSIL, the company is currently working on a production schedule of 800 cars/day for the New 800cc to be launched on October 16, 2012," the firm said in a report.
Currently, the old Alto production is pegged at 500-600 cars per day. The incremental volumes from the new car could be 200 cars per day, it added.
MSI is looking to regain lost ground in the small car segment with the launch of the completely new version its erstwhile best selling model Alto. It is also offering CNG option in the new Alto 800.
Launched in 2001, the Alto sold a total of 20 lakh units in the domestic market and exported another 2.47 lakh units. MSI and its vendors have spent Rs 470 crore in developing the new Alto 800, which is based on the platform of the previous model.