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Old 13th April 2009, 12:49   #1
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Default Maruti to launch hybrid cars in 3 to 5 years

An excerpt from Business Standard, New Delhi April 13, 2009

"Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car company by sales, is working on an ambitious plan to launch electric cars and compressed natural gas (CNG) variants for three or four models in the domestic market. The plan is part of the company’s broad strategy to develop small cars that run on alternative fuel technology.

“We are developing electric car technology for India. But it might take us up to the next five years or more to manufacture and sell electric cars in the domestic market,” said Maruti Suzuki Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi.
Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava, added, "We are working on multi-fuel variants and some models have been identified for CNG. A CNG kit currently costs over Rs 40,000 and that is expensive. Also, these cars can only be launched in 2010 or 2011, when there is a pan-India CNG filling system from companies like Reliance."
Bhargava pointed out that even Delhi lacked sufficient CNG filling systems for commercial vehicles. The company has already launched LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) variants of the Maruti 800 and Wagon R.
Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan, which holds 54.2 per cent in Maruti Suzuki, has already taken some major R& D initiatives in alternative fuels, including developing fuel cell technology in partnership with General Motors of the US. The company is using the mid-sized SX4 to conduct R&D in Japan for hybrid technology. The fuel combination being tested is a mix of fuel cells and high-pressure hydrogen. Nakanishi did not specify if this technology was being considered for India. Earlier vehicles tested by Suzuki Japan for hybrid technology include small cars like the Wagon R for the Japanese market.
Nakanishi said the R&D unit in Japan is currently addressing two key challenges in developing electric cars for India — mileage per charge and price.
“Cars available in the domestic market can give, say, 120 km per charge. What they are implying is 120 km for a single passenger — which means the power is sufficient for the driver of the car alone,” said Nakanishi.
“If another passenger joins, the travel range per charge drops to 60 km. If a third persons sits behind the range drops to 30 km. We are trying to address the longer range of driving in our R&D work,” he explained.
On pricing, Nakanishi said, “You have Honda and Toyota, which have proven, commercially viable hybrid technology cars. But internationally, they sell in small volumes. Globally, Suzuki is known as a low-cost car manufacturer selling in large volumes. We would like to achieve that for electric cars in India.”
Bhargava, meanwhile, also said reports of bookings for the Tata Motors’ Nano (which started on April 9) has had no impact on the Maruti sales.
“We are not seeing any impact on our sales due to the Nano in April and I don't think it will have any impact this year at all. We expect wholesale sales to be good for April since retail sales in March were good and dealers have liquidated their stocks,” he said."
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Old 13th April 2009, 13:20   #2
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I believe if any can do it, it's maruti.
Civic from Honda failed and if the prius does ever come, it is also going to fail because of how messed up our segments are because of everyone overcharging the Indian customer.

Maruti are the largest car selling company here so they do know what to do and how much to charge.

But wait, they say they can sell is 2010/11 but then it also says it will take them 3-5 years...whats going on?

I just hope new swift is launched with electric option.
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Old 13th April 2009, 14:38   #3
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An Electric Maruti, Wow. Will have such a waiting period, that you'll gonna get it only in year 2020. Any ways, a good news. Best of luck to the automaker.
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Old 13th April 2009, 14:52   #4
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exactly. for dzire if maruti make people wait for minimum 6 months, then 2020 only that one will get it delivered. lets forget about r&d and pricing by then who knows whats gonna happen to technology, alternate fulels, industry and economy.

best of luck to maruti for now
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