Maruti Suzuki Ltd has over past two days launched its popular Baleno and Alto hatchbacks with engines compliant with the Bharat State 6 emission norms, a year before the new norms will be introduced. None of the other vehicle manufacturers has managed to launch cars with BS 6 engines.
The Baleno, a premium hatchback sold through the Nexa channel, will also now be available with the smart hybrid technology, first launched with the mid-size sedan Ciaz and Ertiga, a multi-purpose vehicle. The Baleno is the highest selling premium hatchback in the domestic market and sales in 2018-19 increased by 11.4% to 2,12,330 despite subdued demand during the second half of the year.
The BS 6 version of the Alto, an entry level hatchback, was launched by the company on Tuesday with an 800 cc engine. Some of Maruti’s competitors have phased out their entry-level hatchbacks due to tighter safety and emission norms that come into play in 2019 and 2020.
The Alto has been the most sold vehicle of the company for more than 18 years and in 2018-19 the company sold 2,59000 of them, an increase of just 0.3%.
Maruti is also expected to launch the Dzire and Swift with BS 6 compliant engines in the next few months.
According to R S Kalsi, senior executive director, marketing and sales, Maruti Suzuki, the new Alto is India’s first BSVI compliant entry segment car with a powerful engine and high fuel efficiency of 22.05 km/l.
“Baleno has been a blockbuster car from day one. We have over 5.5 lakh Baleno customers since its launch in 2015 and have sold more than 2 lakh units in the last fiscal year. We recently upgraded the Baleno," he added.