From past 35 years, Maruti is serving their service to us and it all started from the Maruti Suzuki 800 which was launched in India on 14 December 1983. The Maruti 800 is the first car which most of us have driven for the first time and it is also the strongest foundation for the Maruti Suzuki. The SS80 which was the codename of the first model making it one of the most successful production car ever.
So on its 35th anniversary, let us take a look at the 10 highlights that everyone must know about the Maruti Suzuki 800-
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- Suzuki was not in the list for the shortlisting part which meant to be further tie up with Maruti Udyog Limited. But a senior director of Suzuki read an article about the upcoming Daihatsu-Maruti association while he was boarded in a domestic flight in India.
- The Maruti 800 was the first gen car of the Maruti Suzuki brand whose code name was SS80 and was sold for around Rs 50,000. In the first few days, the sales were based on the lottery system in which the potential customers were ready to pay even Rs 1 lakh or more to the lucky customers. Indira Gandhi, the ex-prime minister of India handed the first keys of the car to Harpal Singh.
- In India, the Maruti Suzuki 800 was the first model to get a front wheel drive setup and it also got the first moulded dashboard.
- The Maruti 800 was the best selling model in India until in October 2015, the Alto, its newer replacement crossed the 29 lakh unit sales mark.
- Maruti Suzuki 800 was also exported in South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal and was also present in Morocco and selected European markets. 2.66 million Maruti 800 cars were sold in India from the 2.87 million cars which was produced during that time.
- After 2 years from the Maruti Udyog Limited started manufacturing cars, the passenger car segment increased from the 40,000 to 1 lakh cars a year.
- A history was created by the Maruti Udyog Limited by shifting themselves from design to producing cars from a production line in just 13 months.
- By 1997, because of the popularity of the Maruti 800, about 8 out of 10 cars sold in India was of Maruti.
- In the early days, 800 was very much famous and was a popular choice among celebrities like Shahrukh Khan and the cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
- From February 2014, the production of Maruti 800 was stopped because the Alto which was introduced in 2000 became a popular choice among customers and offered better space and more features.
Maruti Suzuki 800 is still the favourite of all yet it is no longer in production. For the first-time drivers or those who look for zero per cent maintenance car, the 800 is the best choice.