Maruti-Suzuki Swift overtakes Alto to become India's best selling car in April 2012

For the first time in almost 3 decades, a model not related to the Maruti 800 has become the best selling car in our country. The irony here is that this has happened in the same month in which the production of 800 came to a stop after 29 years. Since its introduction in the year 1984, the small and humble 800 has been topping the sales charts literally unchallenged. It was not until 2004, when its 'two-generations-younger' sibling Alto took over, that it relinquished the top slot. Now, eight years later, yet another model from Maruti-Suzuki, the all-conquering Swift, has did the unthinkable. With sales of 19,484 units in the month of April 2012, the Swift has beaten Alto (17,842 units) to become the numero uno.
That the Swift is a stupendous success in the market and a big boost for brand 'Maruti-Suzuki' isn't news to us. We have grown tired of hearing about it since the time it was launched here. An all-new, cheekily-styled small car from a company known for its reliable but boring models spurred the interest of thousands of long-time Maruti enthusiasts, with the launch of diesel variants just acting as a catalyst. The popularity only soared further with the launch of the second generation model last year. In fact, the Swift has been consistently selling close to 20,000 units for the past few months. But what is really surprising is the sudden and massive fall in sales numbers of the 'quintessential best-seller' Alto.
Now, is this a temporary blip in Alto's numbers or is it an indication of our market maturing? The shift is too sudden to believe its the latter, despite the fact that the per-capita income and consequently the spending power of Indians continue to rise year over year. This month's sales figures will clear the doubt for us once and for all. Watch this space!

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