Suzuki Japan developing more affordable hybrid tech for India: RC Bhargava

Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava revealed that Suzuki Japan was working on hybridisation for small cars that will be available at a more affordable
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Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara
Parent Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan is said to be developing more affordable hybrid technology that will power Maruti's future mass-market cars
Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara
Parent Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan is said to be developing more affordable hybrid technology that will power Maruti's future mass-market cars

Maruti Suzuki is all set to expand its hybrid portfolio and the company is said to be working on more affordable hybrid technology that will feature in its mass-market offerings. RC Bhargava, Chairman - Maruti Suzuki, revealed to the media during the Q4 FY2024 earnings call that Suzuki Motor Corporation, the parent company of Maruti Suzuki India, is developing the affordable hybrid technology in question.

RC Bhargava said, “A lot of work is going on in Suzuki Japan to evolve better technology which will enable smaller cars to take advantage of the principles of hybridisation to improve fuel economies at a much more affordable cost. If this is aligned with lower GST, I think you can look forward to small cars with much better mileage than we have today."

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Also Read : Maruti Suzuki's annual sales volume crosses 2 million units

Maruti Suzuki Invicto review
Maruti's current hybrid cars are powered by the technology sourced from Toyota, which is relatively more expensive for budget products
Maruti Suzuki Invicto review
Maruti's current hybrid cars are powered by the technology sourced from Toyota, which is relatively more expensive for budget products

Maruti Suzuki presently sells the Grand Vitara and Invicto hybrid cars in India, both of which are employ Toyota’s hybrid technology and also sold by the latter as the Urban Cruiser Hyryder and Innova Hycross respectively under the Toyota-Suzuki global alliance. That said, Toyota’s hybrid technology cost is relatively high, making it counter-productive to employ on mass market (sub 10 lakh) offerings.

“The costs of today's technology which goes into the Toyota hybrids is still quite high. And that is why the cost of the car becomes high," the chairman added further.

Bhargava also hinted that a government policy change would also be more instrumental in pushing hybrid technology for passenger vehicles. At present, hybrid vehicles are taxed at 43 per cent, as against 48 per cent for petrol cars. There have been reports of bringing the taxation down on hybrid cars with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari showing keen interest. The MoRTH minister previously said that a proposal to bring down GST on hybrid vehicles to 5 per cent and flex engines to 12 per cent was sent to the finance ministry.

Bhargava further said that the new government will be able to take a call post the elections on the taxation of EVs. He added that it’s advisable to wait for a few months. The company also noted that it would consider bringing in plug-in hybrid vehicles for the Indian market, although there wasn’t an immediate plan to do the same.

Also Watch: Maruti Suzuki Invicto MPV: First Drive Review

While hybrid adoption continues to grow slowly, Maruti Suzuki remains a top player in alternate fuels and is one of the leaders when it comes to CNG vehicles. Bhargava said that the company aims to sell six lakh CNG cars during this fiscal (FY2025), having closed the previous financial year (FY2024) with 4.5 lakh units.

Maruti Suzuki is also gearing up to introduce its first-ever electric vehicle next year with production set to commence during this financial year. The Maruti Suzuki eVX was showcased as a concept at the 2023 Auto Expo and will be a global offering. The EV will be exported to Europe first before its launch in India during the next financial year.

First Published Date: 27 Apr 2024, 18:14 PM IST
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