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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, July 20, 2018

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Suzuki steers towards hybrids as world bets on electric

Hybrid Ertiga minivan in the south Asian country

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NEW DELHI, India - As the world bets on electric vehicles, Suzuki said it is stirring towards hybrids in Indai , where it has been producing cars since 1983.

Since 2015, the automaker has sold the hybrid Ciaz sedan and the hybrid Ertiga minivan in the south Asian country. 

Now, it has said that it will be investing in hybrids in the country as the company lags behind in electrics, in terms of development, but possesses the technological know-how for hybrids.

It said that it is also investing in hybrids because of blackouts, incomplete charging infrastructure and price points for cars in India. 

It believes that consumers wouldn’t go for expensive electrics in India, when strong sellers like the Alto cost the local-currency equivalent of several thousand dollars.

Revealing its blueprint for India, Suzuki said it will continue to offer vehicles suited to local incomes by increasing hybrid shipments and lowering costs sustainably. 

The company is also aiming to accumulate know-how in electric vehicles by taking part in R&D efforts at a new company established by technology tie-up partner Toyota Motor.

However, as pollution becomes a social issue in India, calls for electric vehicles are growing louder in India.

Some government officials have expressed hopes of limiting new-vehicle sales to electrics by 2030 -- a goal largely seen as difficult to achieve.

In July, the government introduced new goods and services tax that sets rates of 12 percent for electric vehicles and 28 percent for small hybrids. 

Then, in September, the government announced plans to procure 10,000 electric cars from Tata Motors.

In India, over the last three decades, Suzuki has built its supply chain via subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India.

The company has focussed on small, inexpensive offerings like the Alto and the Swift and now controls 40 percent of the nation's new-auto market.

 

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