Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) on Tuesday said it has transported over 7.2 lakh vehicles using Indian railways over the last five years.
In the last fiscal alone, the country's largest carmaker transported 1.8 lakh units using the rail route.
It was the company's highest ever dispatch since transporting 88,000 units in 2016-17 via railways, the automaker said in a statement.
The increased focus on using railways has helped the company offset over 3,200 MT of CO2 emissions cumulatively, it added.
The company said the 1.8 lakh units dispatched last fiscal via railways route accounted for nearly 13 per cent of total sales in the same period, MSI noted.
"The transportation of finished vehicles via railways has many tangible benefits. It is a clean, environment friendly mode of transportation. It reduces congestion on highways and there is more space available to other vehicles. Therefore, as a conscious effort at Maruti Suzuki, we have taken important steps to enhance vehicle transportation via railways," MSI MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said.
The auto major has come a long way from using a single deck converted rakes to deploying high speed, high capacity new design double deck rakes for transporting its units.
The operations started with the use of railway wagons (converted from old passenger coaches). These single deck wagons had a rake capacity to transport 125 cars.
With growing volumes, there was a need for a shift to high capacity dedicated wagons. Accordingly, Indian Railways' design arm RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation) took feedback from vehicle manufacturers, including Maruti Suzuki.
RDSO developed a new design, twin-deck rake that doubled the carrying capacity to 265 cars. Over 1,40,000 Maruti Suzuki cars have been transported through these twin-deck rakes.
RDSO further developed the rakes to improve the carrying capacity by 20 per cent.
These rakes now carry up to 318 cars and can be operated at speeds of 95/km per hour, highest for any goods train in India.
Till date, 36 high-speed and high-capacity rakes are in active use by Maruti Suzuki and its service providers for despatch of its vehicles.