Maruti 800 – An Unparalleled Success Story For The Indian Automobile Industry

The Maruti 800 was launched at a time when the Indian consumers wanted a fuel efficient car which was compact for city roads and easy to handle. The launch of the Maruti 800 was a stepping stone for the industry which was monopolized by the likes of HM Ambassador, Premier Padmini and few other foreign cars. The car was first made available in 1983 and was made available till 2013. Since its inception, it had undergone a number of changes in engine and body. A full makeover was given to the car in 1986, only 3 years since its launch.

The car sold like hot cakes as it was within the reach of most buyers. The Maruti 800 price when launched was around Rs 2 lakhs or so. The price remained within this range with the last recorded Maruti 800 price being Rs 2.28 lakhs. The car was also popular in other South Asian markets such as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and was launched in Europe too as Suzuki Maruti.

The frame of the body was based on the Suzuki Fronte, already a hit design in Japan. The car was a four seater one, which was perfect for small families. The 796cc engine provided a mileage of 16.1kmpl which is quite respectable for a car back then. The maximum power achievable by the car was 37 bhp at 5000rpm while the maximum torque was round 59Nm at 2500rpm. It was a petrol operated car and had a manual gearbox with 4 speeds. A limited edition was launched which had 5 speeds too. The pick-up of the Maruti 800 was one of the best and going from 0 to 60kmph would take around 18 seconds or so. The top speed of the car is 130kmph although most drivers have not driven anywhere close to this speed for fear of causing permanent damage to it.

The car was available in a lot of pop colours and performed well on all terrains, including hilly ones. Steering wheel was not a power steering one which meant that a lot of energy had to be pumped into steering the car on hairpin bends. The vehicle was compliant with the pollution standards of the country although after the BSIII stage, it was difficult for the Maruti 800 to clear the set pollution standards. Nevertheless, the company did decide to produce a Euro IV model.

The Maruti 800 was the dominant car through the 1980s and 1990s and a good part of the 2000s too. It was the best-selling car of India till 2004 when its sibling the Maruti Alto took over in terms of sales. A lot of people have learnt how to drive a car first on the Maruti 800 and are quite nostalgic about it. The initial models did not have air conditioningand those who desired air conditioning in their cars would have to get the machine fitted separately. However, later models were launched with built in air conditioning and were names 800 AC. Around 2008-2009, the company also decided to launch a DUO model of the Maruti Suzuki which would run on both petrol and LPG.

Maruti Suzuki decided to discontinue the model in the year 2012, when its sales were dipping. Compared to 2010, the sales of 2011 were down by 3.7% and the sales of Maruti 800 were only 33000 or so. The company wanted to drag out the production of the vehicle to compete with the newly launched Tata Nano. However, it decided otherwise later on. Over the years of production, 2.87 million Maruti Suzuki cars were sold all over the world, of which 2.66 million cars were produced in India. The sales of the car were first stopped in 13 Indian cities, 4 metro areas and 9 Tier II cities which deemed that the sales of these cars should be stopped as the cars that were allowed to ply on roads would have to be Euro IV compliant. Mumbai had decided to phase out the Maruti 800 by the year 2010 while Hyderabad had decided to do so by 2015. However, it was sold till the very end of 2012 when the company decided to shut down production. With the stoppage in production of the Maruti 800, rose the Maruti Alto 800 which is the current best-selling car of the Indian market. In a year, almost 170,000 units of the cars were sold through the country. Its nearest competitor is the Hyundai Eon.

The Maruti 800 is still available in the used car market and some owners still hold onto it as it was their first car and there is a lot of sentiment attached with it. The Maruti 800s available in the used cars markets belong to different periods of production. You can find cars which belonged to the 1990s to ones which were produced in late 2000s. According to the year of make the price varies. Maruti 800 price in the used car market for a vehicle which was made 5 or 6 years ago would be around Rs 1 lakh while those which were made earlier could be sold for Rs 70,000 or so. Because the car is out of production and is quite frugal in terms of appearance, mechanics and performance, it does not fetch a high price in the second hand car market.

If you are thinking of buying a car for your child or yourself to learn driving in, the Maruti 800 would be the perfect vehicle. The simplistic design would allow your child to learn from scratch about handling a car. From steering to adjusting the mirrors correctly, Maruti is the best vehicle to learn driving in, as sworn by many top drivers. It is easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces and park accurately in tight spaces. To buy a used Maruti 800, simply log into a website selling cars and choose your city and the car’s name from the drop down list. You will be shown the Maruti 800 price and other important details of the models available.

Though a small business owner, Avinash Bhosale is an auto engineer and does part time auto modification. He writes about new and used cars. Get to know the Maruti 800 price in your locality.