Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, would likely give production priority to CNG-run models in the upcoming weeks following improvement in semiconductor availability.
The Delhi-based company is hoping to improve its production rate in November compared to October which had seen a 40 percent cut in output due to the shortages in semiconductor availability.
A bulk of the 200,000+ pending orders that Maruti Suzuki has is for the CNG versions. The Ertiga CNG, for instance, has been in top demand with waiting period stretching to four months and beyond. Demand for CNG has seen a surge following prices of petrol and diesel hitting new highs. While a kilogram of CNG costs Rs 57 a litre of petrol costs Rs 113 in Mumbai.
“The customer demand is very strong and there is a government push towards CNG. We are trying to develop additional CNG variants. We are facing semiconductor shortage issue. But we are expecting the supplies to improve and so we will increase the supplies of CNG vehicles too,” Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director, Maruti Suzuki India said in an earnings call.
Maruti Suzuki was at the receiving end of the semiconductor shortage which resulted in the company losing 116,000 units of production during the July-September quarter. The company had announced 60 percent reduction in production from vehicle making three locations for September.
One of the company’s parts supplier who supplies electronic components from its factory in Malaysia got impacted because of a surge in Covid-19 cases.
“A large part of the waiting list we have is for CNG cars. We are going to keep increasing production to meet customer demand,” RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki added.
Maruti Suzuki offers CNG technology on the Alto, Celerio, WagonR, S-Presso, Ertiga, EECO, as well as the commercial segment range including EECO Cargo, Super Carry, Tour H1, Tour H2, Tour S, Tour V and Tour M. The company claims that its WagonR 1.0 equipped with S-CNG technology delivers a fuel efficiency of 32.52 Km/kg.
The surge in demand for CNG has made Tata Motors
make its debut in the segment too. The Mumbai-based carmaker will launch the Tiago CNG followed by the Tigor CNG.