Maruti 800, the city car manufactured by Maruti Suzuki in India since 1984, has started showing signs of extinction. The root cause being, the stringent Euro-4 emission norms that all the car makers need to follow from 2010.
According to sources, Maruti Suzuki has acknowledged the infeasibility of launching an Euro-IV compliant version of Maruti 800 by 2010, citing certain impracticalities like the engine's alignment etc. Moreover, its sales has plummeted over the past few years as consumers are switching over to other cars like the Maruti Alto, which is basically the current-generation Maruti 800.
The 800 used to be the largest selling car in India until the Maruti Alto recently took its title. It is still exported to a number of countries in southeastern Asia including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and to some South American markets (as Chile, sold as Suzuki Maruti), and was earlier available in selected European markets between 1988 and 1992, sold as the Suzuki Maruti. In Morocco it is currently being sold as Suzuki Maruti (as on March 2008).
The Maruti 800 is still popularly hailed in India as 'the smallest car in production' due to its tightly spaced interior. Automobile analysts believed the car would be phased out once Maruti Suzuki brings down the price of Alto close to Maruti 800. But MUL sources keep claiming that Maruti 800 is the only entry-level car in the country today, and the company did not want to give up this position.
IAB Comment- I guess the Tata Nano is all set to take over the title of the "People's Car" from the Maruti 800 in 2010. The Tata Nano looks better, is more safer, returns a higher gas mileage and has more interior space that the Maruti 800. More importantly, it's emissions are much lesser and is Euro-4 ready.
Source- Wheels Unplugged