Maruti Suzuki 800 – the iconic small car that ferried millions of Indian middle class families for more than 30 years has reached the end of its production cycle. Launched in the year 1983, the same year when India won its first Cricket World Cup…
Maruti Suzuki 800 – the iconic small car that ferried millions of Indian middle class families for more than 30 years has reached the end of its production cycle. Launched in the year 1983, the same year when India won its first Cricket World Cup, the M800 soon became a household name and catered to over 2.7 million customers with an economical and practical mode of transportation. This was at a time when individuals and families could not afford then existing cars such as the Padmini and the Ambassador. Priced at around 50,000 in the 80s, the M800 is now offered for over Rs 2.35 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi)
When the Indian Automaker delivered yet another blockbuster – the Alto 800 in 2004, the company had already stopped the sales of the M800 in 11 cities, including four metro cities. Since the small car could no longer conform to the revised emission norms. Circa April 2010, the M800 was dissolved from thirteen more cities including Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, and Kanpur. Slowly but surely, the sales of the M800 began dwindling over the years. And eventually, the small car was left behind, in the chaotic age of newer, bigger and better cars equipped with modern technology and gadgetry.
The Indian automaker however, never confirmed officially the phasing out of the M800. That is until now. At the sidelines of the launch of the Celerio Hatchback at the on-going 2014 Auto Expo, for the first time Maruti officials stated that as of January 2014, the production of the M800 has been stopped for good. That said, the Indian automaker will continue to provide spare parts and service to existing customers for the next 8 to 10 years – as per company policy.
“Now on the 18th of January we have stopped the M-800 production completely. We have to keep all of them (dies and moulds) for the spare parts requirement. We have to continuously meet the customer requirements. It’s our duty to make sure that they get all the parts,” remarked Mr C V Raman, the executive director of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.
At the time when there was no other practical option, the M800 seemed like a miracle to many households. Today however, things are very different. And as is the case with everything under the sun, the end is inevitable. But while the M800 lived, it changed the face of Indian automobile industry in more than one way and became the ’bread and butter’ car for the Indian company itself.
Many people remember their childhood years, when they see the M800. Many remember the car being around, when they got married or began a family or when their parents retired. And it is because of this reminiscent value that the car brings out in people. The M800 has earned the reputation of a legend in India.
It is indeed, an end of an era.