Maruti Suzuki has announced that it has been hit with supply chain issues in FY2022 resulting in pending orders going as high as 2.7 lakh vehicles. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Maruti Suzuki MD AND CEO Hisashi Takeuchi said that the company has not suffered any erosion in terms of growth and market share.
Takeuchi stated that SUV sales were increasing as small cars are becoming more expensive due to input costs. He also confirmed that Maruti Suzuki will launch strong hybrids in India in not so distant future. The company will work on technological innovations and localization to make cars more affordable.
On a similar note, India’s plan to make six airbags mandatory in passenger vehicles will make cars more expensive and drive out a chunk of potential buyers, the chairman of Maruti Suzuki, the country’s top-selling carmaker, told Reuters. Such a move will hurt sales of small, low-cost cars and put more pressure on companies already facing high costs, R.C. Bhargava said, pushing back publicly on what the government considers a major safety initiative. India, which has some of the world’s deadliest roads, released a draft proposal in January mandating six air bags in all passenger cars manufactured from October 1. The draft rules, part of a series of road safety measures, are yet to be finalised.
Sales of small cars have been declining through the pandemic and these kinds of cost increases will only mean that they will go down further, while big and expensive cars continue to grow, Bhargava said. “This will hurt the growth of the small car market and the smaller and poorer people, who cannot afford the more expensive cars," he said.
(With inputs from Reuters)