Maruti Chairperson Confirms Suzuki’s Development of Affordable Small Hybrid Cars

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Electric vehicle adoption rate is still very slow for the Indian market and most of the big brands are working on their strategies to push and promote more EV adoption. Amid the slow growth it seems that Maruti Suzuki is keep on exploring new alternatives to walk on the path of carbon neutrality. Following the FY-24 earnings announcement, the top management disclosed to the media that HQ Suzuki is actively developing an economical hybrid solution for compact cars. Moreover, they also highlighted the potential adoption of the more advanced plug-in hybrid technology in upcoming endeavors.

Maruti Suzuki’s EV Strategy

R.C. Bhargava, Maruti Suzuki’s Chairman, emphasized that the cost of integrating the Toyota hybrid system remains notably steep. This inevitably results in a significant escalation of the vehicle’s overall price, exacerbated by the prevailing GST rate of 43 percent.

In a recent statement Bhargava elaborated, “Suzuki Japan is actively pursuing advancements in technology to empower smaller cars with hybridization principles for improved fuel efficiency at a more affordable price. With the potential alignment of this technology with reduced GST rates, consumers can anticipate small cars offering significantly higher mileage than current standards.”

Bhargava refrained from disclosing specific timelines for the introduction of affordable hybrids. Regarding future prospects, he stated, “The introduction of affordable hybrids hinges on the GST rate and the efficiency of Suzuki Japan engineers in developing a robust technology that meets our objectives.”

Maruti Suzuki is thinking about adding plug-in hybrid technology to its lineup in the future, especially as they expand into pricier mid-size SUVs. Hishahi Takeuchi, Maruti Suzuki’s MD, mentioned, “We’re not planning to bring plug-in hybrids to India right away, but it’s something we’re seriously considering because it’s quite interesting.”

Maruti Suzuki is planning to offer different types of hybrid cars. They’re working on making a cheaper hybrid with Suzuki, already have a strong hybrid with Toyota, and might introduce a plug-in hybrid later. This decision comes at a time when government officials are thinking about reducing taxes on hybrid vehicles in India.

Maruti Suzuki aims for 25 percent of its cars to be hybrids by its long-term vision 3.0. This means selling between 750,000 to 1 million hybrid cars by FY-31. Currently, it only offers hybrids in its mid-size premium vehicles like the Grand Vitara and Invicto, but sales are expected to increase starting FY-26.

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