Udayavni Special

Maruti 800 celebrates its 37th anniversary: 10 interesting facts about India’s most loved car

Team Udayavani, Dec 15, 2020, 3:09 PM IST

It has been 37 years since the first Maruti 800 rolled off the production line in India. The car was a staple of Indian culture for the longest time. First manufactured by Maruti Suzuki in 1983, it stayed on the road till 2014.

Here are a few interesting facts about the iconic car

  • It was the first front wheel drive to be released in India and was also more technologically advanced than its rivals at the time. The Maruti 800 became the first car in India to be offered with a front-wheel-drive configuration that reduced the weight and the cost of the car considerably
  •  Maruti 800 was launched at a price of Rs. 47,500. It remained the best-selling car in India till 2004. Maruti sold more than 27 lakh units of the 800 in India.
  • The first owner of Maruti 800 in India, Mr Harpal Singh received the keys of the car from then prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi on December 14, 1983. Mr Harpal owned the car for nearly 27 years. He did not sell the Maruti 800 neither did he upgrade to a new car.
  •  The Maruti 800 was based on the Suzuki Fronte SS80. The first batch of the 800 was imported as a completely knocked down (CKD) kit.
  • At the time of its announcement, models were allotted to customers based on a lottery system and the waiting period stretched by months and sometimes years
  • The Maruti 800 is the most stolen car in Pakistan according to a statement released by Karachi’s Anti-car lifting cell unit.
  • Maruti sold a whopping  2.5 million models. In just two years of the Maruti 800’s launch, the Indian passenger automobile market doubled in volumes from 40,000
  • In the year 2000, Maruti launched the Alto that eventually replaced the 800 in India. The Alto was launched as a bigger and stylish alternative to the 800. But, it could not dislodge the 800 from the top spot of sales.
  • Maruti 800 was the first car  of many celebrities. The Maruti 800 became the first car of Sachin Tendulkar, who wanted to buy the car in 1983 itself but could not, he saved money for few years and gathered enough to buy the car. Also, Shah Rukh Khan bought the car in Delhi and drove it down to Mumbai.
  • The last model was produced at the Gurgaon plant for a customer in Shillong

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