Maruti Suzuki recently held their 40th Annual General Meeting. At the event, the carmaker’s chairman, RC Bhargava, said that they have no plans to bring an EV to the market in the near future. Maruti Suzuki will have an EV when it’s financially feasible to make consistent profits from the electric car operations.
Bhargava said that the competitors bringing EVs to the market right now have small sales figures and demand. This will have a negligible impact on Maruti’s market share. The chairman also hinted at the affordability of electric vehicles as a concern towards achieving deeper penetration of EVs.
Maruti Suzuki are losing marketshare rapidly in recent years. Just a few years ago, they held a passenger car market share of well above 50%. However, in recent years, Tata, Hyundai and Kia have managed to steal customers from under Maruti’s nose.
Short Term Goals
The carmaker already has a healthy lineup of hybrid and CNG vehicles with more in the pipeline. Here’s a look at the current and expected lineup of CNG and hybrid cars in Maruti Suzuki’s portfolio:
Current Lineup of Maruti Suzuki Cars
Cars Expected To Launch In Future
As some more CNG cars go on sale, Maruti Suzuki will expand their CNG portfolio, which already has the widest range of CNG cars.
For CNG car buyers, Maruti Suzuki is not the only option. Hyundai also have a reasonably wide range of CNG cars in the lineup. Meanwhile, Tata Motors are also working on adding some CNG cars under their umbrella. The Tiago and Tigor are the first in line on the likelihood scale to get the CNG fuel option. Later, the Altroz, Punch and Nexon could also offer CNG with limited variants.
Several years ago, Maruti Suzuki’s chairman tried to justify limiting the safety features to the higher variants of cars. It didn’t land well with the audience. But, soon after, Maruti Suzuki made a tremendous effort and forced the competitors’ hands to offer safety features as standard. The Baleno was the first car under Rs. 5.0 lakh to offer ABS, 2 airbags and ISOFIX anchors even in the base variant.
When it launched, the Baleno Sigma didn’t have a music system or even remote central locking. Yet, it managed to democratize the safer cars and more importantly the concept of safer cars to the masses. And, the Baleno not only managed to estabilish the Nexa as a premium sub brand but also went on to become a tremendously success model.
This may suggest that we can’t take Maruti’s statement at face value. However, ahead of the BS6 compliance deadline, Maruti Suzuki announced that they’re ditching diesel engines. This time, they stuck to their word and got rid of all diesel variants from the lineup. It looks like it hurt their sales prospects. So, we aren’t fully sure of what might unfold in the next year or so. We will just have to wait and see if they keep the WagonR electric in the closet for a few more years or pull it out of the hat.