1.78 lakh units in 2019: Why Maruti is betting big on railways to transport cars
Over the course of six years that Maruti Suzuki cars have also been transported through the help of Indian Railways, the company has managed to offset 3,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions and save around 100 million litres of fossil fuel that would have otherwise been used in transport trucks ferrying vehicles from factories to locations across the country.
Maruti Suzuki on Wednesday said that it remains committed to making increased use of India's vast and intricate rail network to transport its vehicles. In 2019-20, the company dispatched 1.78 lakh units using the rail mode and this was a 15% jump over figures from a year earlier. These units accounted for almost 12% of total sales for the company in the year.
The first dispatch by double decker flexi-deck rakes from Maruti took place in March of 2014 and since then, the company states that it has saved more than 100,000 truck trips across the highways of the country.
What has helped India's largest car maker is a new design called BCACM which was developed by Indian Railways' design arm - Research Design and Standard’s Organization. The previous capacity to handle 125 cars was more than doubled to 265 cars using the double decker rakes which have transported 1.4 lakh Maruti cars since inception.
Another design upgrade saw the capacity further rise to 318 cars and at speeds of 95 kmph, the railway mode has emerged as a quick, safe and effective option for the car manufacturer.
Maruti Suzuki is also the first auto manufacturer in the country to obtain Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) license. This allows private firms to fabricate and operate high speed, high capacity autowagon rakes on the Indian Railway’s network.
Many other OEMs too are increasingly banking on Indian Railways for transporting vehicles from one part of the country to another. The Railway ministry and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had recently tweeted photos of Kia cars and Swaraj tractors being loaded on to cargo trains.
Apart from the on-ground benefits, there is also a positive impact on the environment that many choose to highlight.