The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has been proactively working on introducing eco-friendly CNG trims of some of its most popular offerings. The company not only remains bullish on introducing CNG models in the long term but push also comes in the wake of rising petrol and diesel prices and a drop in diesel car sales. As per several media reports, the homegrown automaker plans to almost double its sales of CNG cars by introducing Maruti Suzuki Swift, Baleno, Vitara Brezza, XL 6 and the S-Cross among others soon.
The company already has an undisputable market share of 85 per cent in the CNG-powered car segment and Maruti Suzuki sold close to 1.62 lakh CNG cars in India in FY 2020-21. It plans to almost double its sales of CNG cars this fiscal. To achieve an estimated 3 lakh CNG units this fiscal, the company may introduce additional better-equipped CNG variants across its product range.
"Out of 15 brands we sell, the CNG option is available in just seven models. We are trying to bring CNG options to the rest of the portfolio," Cartoq quoted Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India Limited. At present, Maruti Suzuki offers CNG trims in Alto, Eeco, Ertiga, S-Presso, WagonR, TourS, and Super Carry. It now has plans to launch a CNG version of the recently introduced all-new Celerio soon.
Further elaborating on the ways to reduce the running costs of its cars by introducing more CNG variants, Srivastava added that the factory-fitted CNG cars also ensure a safer option and it does not compromise on performance. He also suggested that the Indian buyers are quite sensitive towards the running costs of their cars. "That is where CNG cars come in, there is so much demand for CNG cars right now," he added.
The company is also counting on the rapid expansion of CNG dispensing outlets across the country. Currently, CNG is available in 293 cities of the country, which have doubled in three years and it is expected to be available in over 330 cities by the end of 2022. Additionally, the number of CNG filling stations currently stands at 3,300 in number, which is expected to get triple by 2025.
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