The dynamics of the consumer marketplace have changed phenomenally in the last few years.In this never ending pursuit to meet customer demand, the manufacturers have been forced to revisit their products and deliver new and better product variants every now and then.Now, the whole marketplace thrives on better and new products ever so frequently that it becomes very difficult to garner a long standing memory of a product.
However, there are a few which have an immense connect with the domain they belong to.These products are not even path breaking in the current timeframe but they continue to linger in our minds.
As is clear from the title, we are talking about the good ol Maruti 800 , the defacto car for the middle class families for a long time.Maruti 800 revolutionized the auto industry in India when owning a car was a dream for many.The car was an engineering genius of its time packing good amount of features in its relatively small frame and to beat it all, a very affordable price tag.So much so, that in a car market spoilt with choices, Maruti 800 has still managed to hold its fort for 26 long years.
But, a few months from now and Maruti 800 will finally be starting its journey into the history books.The government has imposed the new BS IV norms (equivalent of EURO IV) and the car manufacturers will be allowed to sell only EURO IV compliant vehicles in the four metros and the 9 major cities including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Agra and Surat.There were talks about M 800 being retired from 11 cities a few months back but it is indeed going to happen now.
The folks at Maruti have decided not to upgrade the current EURO III compliant M-800 to EURO IV and as a result of that, have decided to retire M-800.Maruti 800 has also suffered a steady decline in sales over the last few years and a considerable amount of competition has come from its own in house Maruti Alto which seems to be much in tune with the times in terms of technology and aesthetics.So, it might be a wise decision to retire the Maruti 800 in phases.
Maruti 800 IMO has truly been the car that made India drive.I still get nostalgic recalling that most of the cars that i saw on road during my childhood were indeed dominated by Maruti 800.Everything from the product features,price,marketing seemed perfectly connected to India and this is one thing i totally feel M 800 managed to stay on the road for 26 years and still counting.Maruti will continue selling its M 800 in other cities where the EURO IV norms have not been mandated.
However, i wonder if M 800’s retirement will make it even easier for theÂ path breaking ,super affordable Tata Nano.Nano has altered the affordability factor for cars by a few notches and with M 800 phasing out, its pricing will beat other car variants fair and square.
What do you think about the phasing out of M 800? What do you think made it go on and on for a good 26 years and still retain its charm.