Saturday, February 18, 2006

The great Maruti name charade

All my driving life I've been driving an Alto, from as far back as 1997. My dad started driving an Alto in 1984. More Altos have been driven by Indians than any other car, ever. I know this sounds exagerrated, but the fact is that the following cars have all originally been the 'Suzuki Alto', in its various chronological avtars:

  • The Maruti 800 'old shape' (fully Japani, angular, squat, low, fun car 1984-1986)
  • The Maruti 800 'new shape' (Progressively less and less Japani, less angular, less low, less fun, and getting uglier with every little cosmetic daub; 1986 - Present)
  • The Maruti Zen (mostly Indian, bean-shaped, low, almost sporty, fun car; 1996 - Present, although recently they massacred the design in the name of a revamp)
  • The Maruti Alto [finally some honesty!!] (almost fully Indian, used to have a sporty engine, now only has an 800 engine with one more valve-per-cylinder and 5-speed box, nice looking, slightly improved of late)

Put the sales of all those cars together, and nothing can beat it!! And except the very first one, all of them continue to be sold alongside each other under different names.

Maruti has, over the years, been exceptionally circumspect in revealing the real names of their models to Indians. This is borne out by the fact that:
  • the Maruti Esteem is actually the Suzuki Swift,
  • the Maruti Baleno is the Suzuki Esteem,
  • the Maruti Gypsy used to be the Suzuki Jimny,
  • The Maruti Versa is the Suzuki Every
....that's a LOT of name shuffling! At least of late, the Vitara, the Swift and the WagonR have managed to sneak their way into India retaining their real names!


Anonymous said...

The new Zen - the Estilo is actually the Suzuki MR Wagon :)

Anonymous said...

check your knowledge boss,

and also check the specifications of all cars.

Alto is a mixture of everythig that maruti has learnt from the country men here.

a 800 today as it is sold even today, is still generatios better than an Alto.

An Alto is a compromise, a rather good and excellent compromise, because with rising, salaries, people can afford an Alto now, instead ot showig loyalty to the 800.

You are absolute headstrong person saying, that your dad drove an alto in 1984, of 1894, whatever that matters, no pun intended,

My dad still oves the 800 and was telling me to go for a old 800 or an alto new after my car was stolen from Galleria the rocking place in the so called sweet and lovely gurgaon.

I decided to go for a swift :)

I still have no objections to Alto, it is a great car, however, never say that everythig Maruti from 1986 is an alto, you are simply obsessed with an Alto,

that mean laclk of expereince or exposure


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