Maruti Suzuki received 50,000 orders for the new Alto image

Maruti Suzuki India has received over 50,000 orders for its new Alto small car, the company has announced.

The 50,000 orders represent more than half the number of Eon small cars sold in an entire year by Hyundai in India. So far, Maruti Suzuki has delivered 32,000 units of the new Alto to Indian customers, Mayank Pareek, the company’s CEO, told the Wall Street Journal. First introduced in 2000, the Alto is India’s best-selling car, accounting for one in every eight cars bought in the country.

The new Alto was introduced by Maruti on October 16, but the company opened order books from the end of September. Powered by a 0.8-liter gasoline engine, the Maruti Alto is 15 percent more fuel-efficient than the earlier model. There’s also a 1.0-liter gasoline engine available for the new Alto.

The new Alto is a direct competitor for Hyundai’s Eon, which is also powered by a 0.8-liter gasoline engine. Hyundai Motor India sold 97,236 Eon models in 12 months through October, according to a company spokesman.

Both Maruti and Hyundai marketed their models as fuel-efficient cars to attract Indian customers. Lately, consumers in India have been drawn more toward diesel vehicles, as diesel fuel is 30 percent cheaper than gasoline in the Asian country.