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Want to sell 1.5 million electric cars a year in India by 2030, says Suzuki chairman

Suzuki hopes to continue to have 50 percent market share in India from now through 2030, which would mean achieving sales of five million units a year by then
Jul 9, 2018 / 08:49 AM IST
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Osamu Suzuki, the 88-year-old Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), has asked the company's executives to target sales of 1.5 million electric cars a year in India by 2030 through its subsidiary Maruti Suzuki.

The Indian subsidiary of the Japanese car maker is yet to launch its first battery powered car.

The chairman was talking to Suzuki shareholders at the annual shareholders' meeting held late last month in Japan. Toshihiro Suzuki, his son and President of SMC, was also present.

New sales of passenger vehicles are seen increasing to 10 million units a year by 2030, from 3.28 million units sold in the last financial year.

Suzuki hopes to continue to have 50 percent market share in India from now through 2030, which would mean achieving sales of five million units a year by then.

For that to happen, Maruti Suzuki's will have to grow at the same pace as the domestic market and increase threefold in number from the 1.64 million units sold last year.

"We want to continue to control 50 percent of the market and achieve annual sales of 5 million in the country," said Osamu Suzuki.

Stating that SMC had taken up a challenge to ensure that 30 percent of its five-million-units sales target is met through sales of electric vehicles, the chairman said that he is 'firing up executives every day'.

Maruti Suzuki is currently working on an all-electric car, due for debut in India in 2020, which will be a completely new model and not an electric version of any of its existing models.

The car will be jointly developed by Suzuki and Toyota under an alliance that was announced in 2017.

The move to electric vehicles is being powered by many countries' plans to fully phase out production of vehicles that run on traditional fuels. Each country has its own deadline for the endeavour.

While the Indian government had earlier set its deadline at 2030, it later softened its stand stating that there is no such deadline. In India, charging infrastructure and a manufacturing ecosystem are still pipe dreams.

Besides Maruti Suzuki, other multinational companies such as Hyundai, Kia, MG Motors, and Volvo have already stated their intentions of building electric cars in India.

However, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra are the only ones to have already started producing electric cars.

Maruti Suzuki has the largest product portfolio among car makers in India with 15 models (11 through Arena and 4 through the Nexa channel).

These include models in hatchback, premium hatchback, compact sedan, mid-size sedan and SUV segments. All these are powered by either petrol or diesel engines or a combination of petrol-CNG or diesel-electric (hybrid).

Suzuki also said that it plans to expand its portfolio in India to 30 models by 2030. To compliment the growth in sales, the company is also looking to add dealerships and take their count to 10,000 from the current 2,625.

In the last financial year alone, Maruti Suzuki added 350 dealerships to its network. To put it in perspective, Honda Cars India, the country's fifth largest car maker, has only 350 dealerships in total.
Swaraj Baggonkar
first published: Jul 9, 2018 08:49 am

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