Maruti Suzuki plans to launch its first electric car in 2025
For a long time, Maruti Suzuki did not appear to believe in the future of electrical vehicles in India. That explained why Maruti hardly made any strides on the EV front even as other players like Tata Motors, M&M, Kia and MG Motors were moving aggressively on the EV front.
With Maruti consistently losing market share to competitors, its overall share of passenger cars has fallen from 52% to just about 44%. Now Maruti wants to do a rethink.
Mr. Hisashi Takeuchi, who recently took over as the Managing Director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki Ltd, has other plans. He is aggressive on EVs. While he does believe that the adoption of EV will take time in India, he expects that to be the next big trend.
Now, Maruti Suzuki plans to launch multiple electric vehicles (EV) models in India in its bid to catch up with competition. Its first EV launch will be in 2025, but expects to attain leadership soon.
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Just last month, the 100% subsidiary of Suzuki of Japan, Suzuki Motors Gujarat, had allocated capital aggressively to EV plans. At that time, there were issues raised by the proxy advisors of two different business strategies by two arms of the same company in the same country.
Now the picture appears to be clearing up. The first model in 2025 will be produced from its Gujarat factory and will be rolled out from Suzuki Motor Gujarat's plant.
Mr. Hisashi Takeuchi admitted that Maruti had been slightly behind in the race to introduce the EV model in the Indian market. However, he believes that this time lag will enable Suzuki to better fine tune its product for the Indian condition by learning from the mistakes of others.
That is in a way correct since the total sales of EVs last year was just about 17,802 units, which is still a small fraction of the total passenger car sales in India.
Mr. Hisashi Takeuchi confirmed that at the Suzuki Gujarat plant, they had already done an extensive and elaborate testing of their EV blueprint utilising existing models. They have also tried a working model with batteries swapped into existing models.
Tata Motors is today the leader in the fairly small EV space with its Tata Nexon becoming the largest selling alternate energy renewable car in the Indian markets. TAMO has 85% market share in EVs.
Also Check - Tata Motors Share Price
Mr. Hisashi Takeuchi surely wants to be seen as being in the right place at the right time. With the government pushing for EV sales penetration rising to 30% for private cars by 2030, the opportunity is humongous.
Hisashi believes that even if 10% penetration is achieved by 2030, it would still be a huge market worth fighting for. Maruti Suzuki also aspires to become the Numero Uno in the EV automotive space in India.
There is an interesting history to Maruti’s foray into the EV space. They are still quite sceptical about being able to make an affordable EV in India. Also, in 2019, Maruti Suzuki had tested an electric vehicle based on its Wagon-R model with plans to launch in 2020.
However, the commercial launch was shelved citing lack of infrastructure and government support. Inability to sell affordable EVs remains a big mental block for Maruti Suzuki.
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