A tiny car, but a towering national presence. Indian motoring history reached its fabled inflexion point on a wintry December morning in 1993 when a tiny car was rolled out of a factory in Gurgaon. Indian roads have never been the same ever since. With virtually 90% of the world’s biggest automobile brands already plying their trade on Indian roads today
Speaking of which, time for some quantitative perspective. In its 25-year life, Maruti Udyog Ltd has produced 27,36,046 units of the 800, of which exports accounted for 1,92,914 units. What it means is that Maruti rolled out an impressive number of 800s every year – over 100,000 units per year on an average – for which any car maker would be willing donate an arm and a leg.
The Maruti 800 was Sachin Tendulkar’s first car. It was also the first car for many others who could not afford a car for years. . . Priced at Rs 52,500 in 1983, it was a treasure on wheels!
Excerpts from Mrs Indira Gandhi’s speech while inaugurating the Maruti factory in Gurgaon on Dec 14, 1983
. . . . . .And it is my desire, that this motorcar will serve the ordinary people of India and they will have no complaint about this car.
I hope it will contribute in every aspect of the nation building and will serve the Indian people.