New Alto to be built in India
The company is acutely aware that quality will be vital for establishing the credibility of the car. The reputation of Indian-produced cars was tarnished in 2003 when Rover introduced the City Rover, an underdeveloped model that was based on the Tata Indica.
Suzuki's previous-generation Alto, also built in India, failed to boost the impression that cars from the sub-continent could meet European requirements.
'The difference this time is that the new Alto was designed from the concept stage to be a worldwide car,' said Masayuki Fujisaki, Suzuki’s manager of product planning.
'The previous model was originally designed for India, and we only decided to export it at a later stage.'
The new Alto is made at a much more modern factory, and internal quality audits claim it is matching the standards of Suzukis manufactured in Japan.
It will go on sale in the UK next March as a five-door, powered by a low-emission 67bhp, 1.0-litre petrol engine, and is likely to be priced from around £7000.