Saturday, February 08, 2014

End of an Era: The Maruti 800 Edition

"The 800" was our first car, like it probably was for most Indian car owners. It served us well for nearly 12 years, even while acquiring a few hits and bumps along the way. It was still quite solid when we replaced it with its more spacious and much more expensive cousin, the Swift. A major repair and a fairly attractive buy-back offer helped us in rationalizing our choice to go for a (not entirely necessary) new car. While Swift is doing a fine job ferrying us around and its comforts make us feel pretty good about being ferried around in it, we still have fond memories of that cute little machine that was a part of our lives for such a long time.

So, it is with nostalgia that we note the end of the line for "the 800":

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s Gurgaon plant rolled out the country’s last Maruti 800 car last month, ending the hatchback’s three-decade run on Indian roads after a phase-out that began four years ago.

The last of the Maruti 800s rolled off the production lines on 18 January, C.V. Raman, executive director of engineering at Maruti Suzuki, said in Hyderabad on Friday. [...]

More than 2.7 million units of the Maruti 800 have been sold since it was launched in India in 1983.

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car maker by sales, has already stopped selling the hatchback in 16 cities, including in all the metros, as it became unviable for the company to upgrade the car to comply with BS IV emission norms. It began to phase out production of the car in 2010.

Maruti 800 today sells “very well” in rural markets, Raman said. [Bold emphasis added]