Maruti Chairman Says Craze For SUVs Will Be Over Soon: What He Really Means


R. C. Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), recently made a bold prediction regarding the future of SUVs in India. According to Bhargava, the current craze for big cars, particularly sport utility vehicles (SUVs), will soon come to an end. The primary reason for this, as stated by him, is greater environment consciousness among buyers. He highlighted that soon consumers will become more aware of the environmental implications associated with these vehicles.

maruti suzuki chairman rc bhargava on suvs

Image courtesy FortuneIndia

 

As per the sales data, Utility vehicle (UV) sales in India have been on the rise. UVs have witnessed a significant 25.87 percent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) increase. This data is from the April-February period of the current financial year.

This surge in sales has been fueled by the growing popularity of SUVs among Indian consumers. However, Bhargava believes that this trend is unsustainable in the long run. He cited this due to the larger carbon emissions generated by these vehicles.

R. C. Bhargava’s statement

Bhargava, highlighting his prediction, stated, “By 2047, we should have much cleaner cars throughout India… Whether they will be electric cars or whether some new technology will come up, I do not know.”

Maruti Suzuki brezza

He added, “This craze for large vehicles, for big SUVs and all that, will pass in the coming years. The world will gradually realize that you do not need to have such big vehicles if you really are aware of the environmental needs because big cars not only in terms of operations but also in manufacture and material used generate a lot of carbon footprint (emissions).”

Global markets will also follow

Adding to this bold prediction, Bhargava stated that this trend of ditching SUVs will follow on the global level as well. He stated, “Globally, to get a low carbon footprint, cars will tend to move towards the smaller size. India is well placed to take advantage of that.”

Maruti Suzuki’s shift towards sustainability

Bhargava also highlighted that MSIL aims to contribute to the green transition of mobility. He stated that the company is doing so by introducing cleaner alternatives to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, such as CNG, hybridization, ethanol, and biogas.

Bhargava’s critical note on EVs

2024 Maruti Suzuki evx suv

Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) in India, Bhargava has acknowledged the challenges associated with their widespread adoption. He noted that while EVs may be introduced at a faster rate, the country’s heavy reliance on coal for electricity generation poses a huge obstacle to reducing overall carbon emissions.

To address this issue, Bhargava emphasized the importance of transitioning towards cleaner electricity generation methods. In addition to EVs, Bhargava also discusses the potential of hydrogen as a renewable alternative to traditional fuel sources.

He believes that while EVs represent a step in the right direction, there is still room for innovation and improvement in the automotive industry. This suggests that MSIL, just like Toyota, is not entirely looking to go the electric route.

Bhargava on hybrids

upcoming Maruti Suzuki Vitara three-row seats

The Maruti Suzuki official also stated that the government of India understands the importance of hybrids. He said, “The government is very well aware of this situation.” He added, “Today, hybrid technologies are suited for bigger cars. But I believe that in the course of the next few years, there will be developments in hybrid technologies that will lower the costs and make it available also for the smaller cars.”

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