Maruti Suzuki may sell EVs before 2025. But ‘conditions apply’
Maruti Suzuki has had a firm grip over the small passenger vehicle segment for decades but recent months have been a drive down choppy waters due to global shortage in semiconductor and rising prices of components. And while the world moves towards electric mobility and strides have been taken by rivals in India as well towards this goal, the company continues to highlight that much would depend on potential sales volumes.
Speaking at a virtual press conference after releasing Q2 financial results, Maruti Suzuki India Limited Chairman RC Bhargava said that several factors - many beyond the company's control - will have to be assessed. “We never announced that we were launching an EV commercially. I don’t know when we will release one, but it may come before 2025. But understand there are many, many factors that would eventually impact EV plans," he said. “We won't want to launch an EV and sell 200, 500 or even 1,000 unit a month. Ideally, I would want to sell at least 10,000 units."
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Bhargava highlighted that because Maruti Suzuki is India's largest car maker in terms of both production and sales, it is obvious the company would also want to sell EVs in huge numbers. He further clarified that an eventual decision in this regard would have to come from Suzuki in Japan. “We are still assessing and studying the market and scenario," he said, adding that what rival companies with EVs already won't have any bearing on EV plans of Maruti.
For now, Maruti remains focused on betting big on CNG and clarified that a large chunk of current order book is for CNG vehicles. A major reason for this could be the record high prices of petrol and diesel fuels. And because of the prevailing semiconductor shortage, the company is stressing on meeting its order book in the domestic market.