2012 Suzuki Alto/A-Star spied without camouflage in China
Suzuki’s entry level car, the Alto, also known as the A-Star in the Indian car market has been facelifted for the Chinese domestic market. The uncamouflaged version of the facelifted 2012 Alto has been spied and from what we see, the facelift looks strikingly similar to the render that our roving eye in the sky, EarthFusion put together many months ago. From the spyshots, we can make out that the facelifted Alto/A-Star gets a brand new front end with new headlamps, grille and the front bumper. The rear of the car gets new tail lamps along with an LED cluster.
The facelifted 2012 Alto is expected to go on sale in China very soon. Apart from the cosmetic changes, the Alto retains the 1 Liter, three cylinder K-Series engine producing about 67 Bhp. This peppy and fuel efficient engine is mated to a five speed manual gearbox and a 4 speed automatic gearbox, as is the case currently. Interiors may get a once over, in keeping with the overall facelift although the space on the inside appears to have remained constant as the facelifted Alto remains bog similar to the current A-Star in terms of profile.
An Indian launch of the facelifted car is something that remains ambiguous at this moment although Maruti Suzuki could go in for a mid career facelift for the A-Star to perk up flagging sales. The Alto/A-Star has been a big seller for Suzuki globally with the car being quite popular with entry level car buyers looking for a value buy. The car is also known as the Suzuki Celerio and the Nissan Pixo in many international markets. Maruti Suzuki exports more Altos to countries across the world than the number of A-Star hatchbacks it sells in India.
One big reason for the Maruti A-Star to not take off in the Indian market has to do with its price positioning in India. The car offers less space than its lesser priced Maruti siblings and this is something that small car buyers haven’t taken very well to. Although the A-Star is aimed at younger car buyers looking for a sporty hatchback, Maruti hasn’t really been able to connect with this segment despite a branding program clearly aimed at attracting the younger set. Now though, the facelift takes a more conservative tone, hinting that the A-Star could now get back to wooing older small car buyers.