‘We will introduce the Carry LCV with both petrol and diesel engines.’
RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, on the upcoming Carry LCV, challenges to growth and introducing more hybrid models in its stable of cars.
RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, on the upcoming Carry LCV, challenges to growth and introducing more hybrid models in its stable of cars. An interview by Shobha Mathur.
Maruti Suzuki recently entered the new compact SUV segment in India with the Vitara Brezza. How satisfied are you with its performance and sales?
I think the response to the Brezza has been beyond what we expected. That is why there is this long waiting list.
Maruti will also be entering the LCV segment with its Carry this year. How optimistic are you about sales?
The LCV segment for the last 2-3 months has in fact shown growth. So the conditions are changing and the segment will grow and if the LCV segment grows it is good for us.
Are you looking for an alternative to the diesel engine in the LCV Carry?
We will, in any case, be putting a petrol engine for exports (of the Carry). We will make the LCV available in both petrol and diesel options and both will be different capacity engines.
How do you view the growth and challenges in the automotive industry and for Maruti Suzuki during FY’17?
Industry growth, as SIAM has said, will be around 6-7 percent and we will try to grow double-digit. The challenges remain the same as ever. Unless there is a demand, there will not be purchases. The biggest challenge is you have to have purchasing power.
We are also handicapped by these somewhat unexpected events that have been happening on the diesel front. Manufacturers, not only Maruti but other companies too, have invested in diesel car production. They have made investments in accordance with rules, regulations and laws. Then after having made those investments, you find that the Supreme Court or one of the states has curbed the sale of some product. So it is certainly unexpected.
The National Green Tribunal has recently banned 10-year-old diesel cars from plying in six cities of Kerala. What is your point of view?
If that ban is imposed, then it will probably lead to more sales of cars in a way to replace them. The question is whether they will replace them with petrol or diesel – no one knows.
The Delhi government has reduced VAT on hybrid cars from 12.5 percent to 5 percent in its annual budget that has given a boost to the sale of green cars including the Ciaz Hybrid. Will that mean Maruti will look at introducing the hybrid option in more models?
We are certainly looking at more hybrids. I don’t think our decision is based on the VAT coming down on hybrid cars. Our decision is based on improving fuel efficiency, reducing emissions and weight.
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