Thursday, February 13

Say Goodbye to Maruti 800

A little car, but a soaring presence nationwide... Indian automobile history witnessed a dramatic change on a chilly December morning in 1983 when the first Maruti 800 was rolled out of a factory in Gurgaon. Indian roads have never been the same ever since. Now, Maruti has brought the curtains down on the iconic 800, which has always remained a mainstay of personal mobility for the masses. This decision is sure to leave a lot of Maruti 800 fans emotional, and some even watery-eyed.
Harpal Singh, the owner of the first Maruti 800 in 1983, poses with the car in New Delhi in 2010 (Getty Images …

Remarkably, the Maruti 800 is the second longest Indian production car, next only to the Ambassador. The 800 alone has contributed over 29 lakh units since its launch. Constant technological upgradation of components not only helped masses of car buyers freak out with fuel-efficient, zippy and very reliable Suzukis, the Indian component industry got a massive shot in the arms as the marque's localisation juggernaut rolled on.

The Maruti 800 was a joint effort between Maruti and Suzuki Motor Co of Japan. The first Maruti 800s were sold for a then princely sum of Rs 48,000. Now, after 26 years the same 800 will cost you no less than Rs 185,321.

Since its first launch in 1983, Maruti 800 has undergone minor facelifts. The first facelift was done in 1986, when a new Maruti 800 was introduced to the customer market. It was only an addition of few exciting features like the air condition and music system. The second facelift was done after a decade in 1997. However, the original 796 cubic centimeter capacity of the engine remained the same over the years. Infact, the second facelift of a jellybean like structure was retrospective and was not welcomed by consumers.

In 2002 a special edition of the 800, India’s first colour-coordinated car, was launched. Following the changing trend, Maruti introduced Maruti 800 Duo on the World Environment Day in 2008. The powerful Duo is absolutely third generation Maruti 800 with better performance, standards safety standards, and high power. This generation of 800 is capable of switching over between petrol and LPG engine technology as per the driver’s requirement.

Reliability and durability has always been Maruti 800s strong suit. Now, there are many cars in competition with the 800. Infact, Maruti’s own Alto has become a tough competitor of 800. Gradually, as the numbers of small and affordable cars are increasing in the Indian car market, the future of Maruti 800 has become misty, too.

However, let’s hope that the marque resurrects the Maruti 800 in future as a new classic, like the Volkswagen Beetle and the Mini Cooper. Until then, guys, it’s time to bid adieu to the legend and treasure the nice memories. After all, the Maruti 800 will always live in our hearts and in the annals of Indian auto history, as a car that transfigured the way India moved.

Source: Yahoo!
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