21/06/2024
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Multiple EV models are planned, targeting the No.1 position: the new Maruti Suzuki MD & CEO.

Maruti Suzuki had previously planned to launch an electric vehicle based on its WagonR in 2019 and launch in 2020 but decided against a commercial launch.

  Summary

The company, which plans to launch its first EV model in 2025, plans to produce EVs from its factories in the future when demand for EVs increases in the country.  To start with, the first EV will be rolled out of the Suzuki Motor Gujarat plant.

According to the company’s new Managing Director and CEO Hisashi Takeuchi, the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki will be launching a number of electric vehicle models in India in its bid to attract rivals and be at the forefront of the segment.

The company

The company, which plans to launch its first EV model in 2025, plans to produce EVs from its factories in the future when demand for EVs increases in the country.  To start with, the first EV will be rolled out of the Suzuki Motor Gujarat plant.

Hisashi Takeuchi said

Takeuchi said in conversation here, “We are a little behind our competitors in introducing the Indian market (EV) model, but the market demand for those EVs is still limited. In fact, sales of EVs in the Indian market are still very limited.”

He added, โ€œBut that doesn’t mean we don’t do anything about EV.  We have done the most extensive testing of our EV using our existing models and put those batteries and motors and everything in this existing model.  We have been doing this test for more than a year with multiple cars in the Indian environment so we are sure that our EV technology is better in the environment, which is very tough in India.

Takeuchi responded to the question whether Maruti Suzuki India has given the first mover advantage in the EV segment to competitors such as Tata Motors.

According to FADA, Tata Motors will have an electric passenger vehicle segment with 15,198 units of retail and vertical 85.37 percent market share in 2021-22.  Total electric passenger vehicle sales in the last fiscal year stood at 17,802, more than tripling, 4,984 units in FY21, the latest data from the industry body revealed.

The government is pushing for EV sales to grow to 30 percent by 2030.  “Of course, we want to become one,” he said, referring to industry experts who said EVs could be up to 10 per cent by 2030.  A leader in the Indian automotive space, it is not limited to IC (internal combustion) engines but all passenger cars.  We want to become number one in the EV space and be a leader in the Indian automotive sector.

For this, Takeuchi said, โ€œWe are doing checks and growing fashions which can be unique to India.  It’s now no longer simply one.  We have said we will introduce (EV) by 2025 but there are plans (for others) to follow.  I am sure we can be very strong in the EV space when we introduce our products in this EV market.

He confirmed that many EV models will follow at the right time after the company launches its first EV in 2025.

However, Takeuchi said EV is still very expensive and it is very difficult to manufacture EV at affordable prices with current technology.

Asked if the company’s first EV was not less than 10 lakhs, he said, “I can’t give you a definitive answer right now.

The EV price can be competitive if the battery is small but it reduces the range and creates anxiety for consumers, such an EV can only be successfully sold if there is sufficient charging infrastructure with quick charging options, he said.  .

Maruti Suzuki had previously tested its WagonR-based electric vehicle in 2019 with plans to launch in 2020 but cited a lack of infrastructure and government support and decided against a commercial launch for personal use and defended it at current prices.  Sell โ€‹โ€‹low cost EVs on a mass scale.

Last month, parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation announced it would invest 150 billion yen (about Rs 10,445 crore) in Gujarat for local production of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and BEV batteries by 2026.

โ€œThis time the investment is in the Suzuki Motor Gujarat plant but this does not mean that we will not be producing EVs at the Maruti Suzuki plants … After the EV became popular we would have to produce Maruti Suzuki and Suzuki Motor Gujarat (SMG) in every factory.  In India, โ€Takeuchi said.

The decision to start EV production from the SMG plant was made โ€œbecause this new EV is a strategic model for the entire Suzuki Group globally.  We are planning to sell this car in the Indian market and also export it.

Commenting on the semiconductor shortage, he said the situation has improved somewhat but it is difficult to give an outlook.

More electric CAR

In terms of sales, the company still has 2.7 lakh vehicle orders, he said.  Although the companyโ€™s market share in FY22 declined to 43.4 per cent compared to the 47 per cent in FY21, the company expects to improve with the planned launch of new SUVs and improvements in the supply chain.

MSI remittances for dealers in the last financial year were 13,31,558 units compared to 12,93,840 units in FY2020-21.

Sources Maruti Suzuki / By PTI

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