Maruti Suzuki planning to expand its mild hybrid car portfolio in India
Maruti Suzuki is trying to improve the situation with affordable mild hybrid cars that are easily adoptable in India. Maruti Suzuki already has some mild-hybrid diesel cars under its SHVS portfolio such as the Ciaz SHVS and Ertiga SHVS. There is also a near future possibility of the Baleno SHVS which is currently being manufactured only for the export markets. Maruti Suzuki has confirmed that it will introduce the SHVS mild hybrid system in many other cars in future.
In times when threateningly high pollution levels have become a menace to daily life in many prominent Indian cities, nature friendly cars seem to be one of the major rescue options. However, the rise of the hybrid cars is still in its nascent stage in India, primarily due to the hybrid cars’ luxurious status and expensive tags. While the hybrid cars are coming in the picture slowly in India, the country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki is trying to improve the situation with affordable mild hybrid cars that are easily adoptable in India. Maruti Suzuki already has some mild-hybrid diesel cars under its SHVS portfolio such as the Ciaz SHVS and Ertiga SHVS. There is also a near future possibility of the Baleno SHVS which is currently being manufactured only for the export markets. Maruti Suzuki has confirmed that it will introduce the SHVS mild hybrid system in many other cars in future.
The Indo-Japanese company’s Chairman R.C Bhargava said that the company is planning to take hold of the small car segment with its green technology as the global car majors such as Toyota are increasingly focusing on bigger hybrid models. Bhargava told the media that India needs hybrid technology for the smaller cars, as currently there is a lack of hybrid technology for the small cars or cost efficient car models and this is the field that the company is thinking to develop.
The SHVS or Smart Hybrid Vehicle from Suzuki technology uses cost effective technology to increase a car's fuel efficiency, although not significantly. However, this affordable aspect really works for Maruti Suzuki and its cars in India. The SHVS technology makes the cars qualify for government subsidy under the FAME policy for hybrid and electric cars, which means a slight reduction in the price tags of the cars by around Rs. 10 - 15,000. At present, both the Ertiga SHVS and the Ciaz SHVS both come with a FAME subsidy of Rs. 13,000, and the similar future SHVS models are expected to come with the same sort of subsidy.
At present, the Baleno premium hatchback and the Vitara Brezza compact SUV are the two most popular choices from the house of Maruti Suzuki and definitely, their hybrid models are also the most anticipated. However, the Indo-Japanese car major is totally overwhelmed by the current demands of both these cars which come long waiting periods. Thus, the company is not going to introduce the SHVS versions of the Baleno or the Vitara Brezza for the time being to avoid additional demands and the resultant increase of waiting periods.
The recently spied Maruti Suzuki Baleno SHVS is currently meant only for the export markets. The Maruti Suzuki has already exported 2,300 units of the made in India Baleno hatchbacks to the car market of Japan and is considering exporting to other markets.
We can expect the SHVS model of the Baleno to launch in India sometime next year, when the next-gen Swift and the next-gen Swift Dzire are also likely to launch.
|Ciaz SHVS Price Comparison|
|Variant||Old Ciaz Diesel||New Ciaz SHVS Mild Hybrid||Price Difference|
|*Price ex-showroom Delhi|
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mahesh is a fan of compact, quirky and underrated vehicles that punch above their weight. Multix, Nano, Strom R3 and Navi are his favorites.