Maruti, (a joint venture between the Indian government and Suzuki Motors) is the leading car manufacturer in the country with a presence in the mid-sized segment (Esteem, 1000), small car (800, Zen) as well as utility vehicles (Gypsy).
The Alto (Suzuki's international model) will be launched in two versions. One version will be powered by an 800 cc engine, the other will be fitted with a 1,000 cc engine. The company will differentiate between the two versions through pricing. Both the models will be priced below the Zen, but above Maruti 800.
The decision to introduce the two Alto models in the market is an attempt on Maruti's part to give the consumer an array of choices in every price segment, so he does not have to look elsewhere. With this, Maruti will have six vehicles in the 800 cc and 1,100 cc range - the Maruti 800, Omni, Zen, Wagon R (Suzuki's largest car in Japan) and the two Alto versions. Maruti will also launch the Baleno, a 1,600 cc luxury car fitted with a 16-valve engine, targeted at the premium end of the mid-size segment.
With the proposed launches, Maruti will be a lot more complete in its offerings. Currently, no other car company plans to offer consumers even half the options that Maruti is planning. Add to it Maruti's widespread distribution network and easy availability of spare parts. Competitors will find it difficult to match this. But that is only in the initial stages. Once competitors build up a supplier base, Maruti's edge in this area will diminish.
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