Sluggish sales have prompted Indian Suzuki car builder Maruti Udyog to slash Rs15000-18000 ($US310-370) off the price of its entry-level 800 model which is based on a previous-generation Alto and now priced between Rs188,000 and 255,500 ($US3,800-5,200).

“Various sectors of the economy, including two-wheelers, commercial vehicles, cement and steel show definite signs of strong growth [but] the domestic car industry remains untouched by the revival trend. As a result, all major car industry players are having to resort to [discounts] to boost the market,” Maruti said in a statement.

There are just six cars per 1000 people in India, compared to 161 per 1000 in South Korea and 460 per 1000 in the US.