The iconic Maruti 800 celebrates its 37th anniversary as we speak and we check out seven info that made the favored vendor, India’s People’s automotive.
The Maruti 800 was in manufacturing for 31 years however will likely be part of India for generations
The Maruti 800 is an icon in each sense and holds a particular place in India’s automotive historical past. The mannequin was a game-changer that introduced the period of Japanese four-wheeled mobility to the lots within the nation. On December 14, 2020, the Maruti 800 celebrates its 37th anniversary, and whereas it will not be on sale anymore, the automotive continues to be deeply part of our collective conscience, to not overlook it is nonetheless not too onerous to identify one on the highway. As we have a good time 37 years of the enduring 800, listed here are seven info that it is advisable learn about India’s People’s Car.
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1. The Maruti 800 was India’s first front-wheel-drive automotive
The very first-generation Maruti 800 was an enormous deal and a significant departure from the favored Premier Padmini and the Hindustan Ambassador that have been the extra accessible automobiles out there in 1983. It was additionally the primary automobile to get a front-wheel-drive set-up within the nation and was additionally extra technologically superior than its rivals on the time. The Maruti 800 aimed to bridge the hole between the outdated and new bringing in much better reliability and a extra frugal engine as effectively. Maruti claimed gasoline effectivity of 25.95 kmpl on the 800 on the time of launch in 1983. T
2. The Maruti 800 began life because the Suzuki Fronte SS80
The authentic 800 was based mostly on the Suzuki Fronte SS80, which was additionally the codename for the mannequin in India. A extra modernised model with an aerodynamic bodyshell of the second-generation Alto (SB308) was launched in 1986. The first batch of the 800 was imported as a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) equipment, whereas the mannequin was fully localised and constructed right here for home and export markets.
3. The first Maruti 800 was priced at ₹ 47,500
The Maruti 800 was pitched because the ‘People’s Car’ for India and was launched at an accessible worth of ₹ 47,500 (ex-showroom). A extra premium variant with air-conditioning was launched in 1984 that was priced round ₹ 70,000. About 15 per cent of the entire automobiles produced have been transformed into the Deluxe variant with the HVAC unit. In distinction, the Ambassador and Padmini each have been priced round ₹ 70,000 (ex-showroom) mark. The aggressive pricing and simple possession prices additionally made India’s middle-class sit up and take discover and flock to showrooms. However, buying an 800 wasn’t as straightforward because it appeared.
4. The ready interval stretched for years
Unlike the straightforward accessibility as we speak that we’ve for getting automobiles, you could not simply drive a Maruti 800 out of a showroom again within the 1980-1990s. At the time of its announcement, about 1.2 lakh folks booked the automotive for a token quantity of ₹ 10,000. The preliminary fashions have been allotted to prospects based mostly on a lottery system and the ready interval stretched by months and generally years collectively earlier than you have been lastly handed over one. Customers have been keen to pay further to get an allotment. In truth, the primary automotive was awarded to Harpal Singh and the keys have been famously handed over to the proprietor by India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on the time. Interestingly, Mr. Singh owned the automotive all through his lifetime.
Also Read: India’s First Maruti 800 Should Be A National Treasure, Says Owner’s Family
5. Over 2.7 million Maruti 800s have been bought in its lifetime
The first-gen 800 was codenamed the SS80 and was constructed with an preliminary funding of ₹ 269 crore. The Maruti Udyog facility had assembled about 70 automobiles on the time of launch and will roll out one automotive in 800 minutes. The plant had a manufacturing capability of 20,000 automobiles by 1984 which additional elevated to 40,000 models by 1988. In simply two years of the Maruti 800’s launch, the Indian passenger automotive market doubled in volumes from 40,000 automobiles bought in a yr to about 1 lakh models bought each year. By 1997, eight out of ten top-selling automobiles in India was a Maruti.
6. Was bought in West Europe as a Maruti to bypass quota for Japanese automobiles
Maruti started exports of the 800 in 1987 and the primary set of automobiles have been shipped to neighbouring international locations, adopted by a batch of 500 automobiles to Hungary. The India-made automotive was later launched within the then Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia adopted by different European markets quickly after. After tasting success in these markets, Maruti determined to go for the extra developed markets like France and the Netherlands in 1989 and 1990 respectively, adopted by England, Italy, and Malta. In truth, the automobiles bought right here have been particularly badged as ‘Maruti’ to bypass the quota restrict levied on Japanese automobiles. All badges and references to Suzuki have been eliminated, proper right down to the proprietor’s handbook to fulfill the identical. The Maruti 800 acquired seatbelts for the primary time in 1987 to fulfill the export necessities, and in addition the corporate’s first catalytic converter to adjust to European emission norms.
Also Read: From the Maruti 800 to the BMW i8: A Journey Of Auto Passion For Sachin Tendulkar
7. Maruti pulled the plug on the 800 in February 2014
By 2014, Maruti Suzuki was an auto large and chief on this planet’s third-largest auto market. It had gone far past promoting the 800. Meanwhile, the Maruti 800 was discovering it tough to maintain up with altering buyer preferences. That, together with low volumes and the improve to BS4 emission rules meant that meant we lastly noticed the automaker pull the plug on the much-loved product. The remaining Maruti 800 rolled off the meeting line in February 2014 for a buyer in Chandigarh, bringing an finish to an excellent period in Indian car historical past.