Maruti Suzuki is currently working on a low-cost hybrid technology to make its affordable cars even more penny-pinching at par.
However, Maruti is planning to make hybrids affordable and to offer the technology on cars seems the cheapest in its product portfolio for example right from the Alto to the Swift premium car over the next three to four years as per the company perspective. Meanwhile, in the process, it is taking the 'Kitna Deti Hai' slogan to the next level relatively. Overall, these people said Maruti's hybrid solution expected to deliver 20-30% extra fuel economy and efficiency.
"It is no more a concept. The real work is under way and the hybrid technology development is at an advanced stage," said one of the people. "A large part of the development is happening in Japan and key inputs from Indian R&D engineers are also being absorbed. The idea is to offer a technology to the mass with not a major price difference over existing petrol cars."
"Nobody else does the AMT at that scale, but the Indian customers require that AMT in small cars. People can't afford to get an automatic at Rs 1 lakh premium," Bhargava said. "And, we need the same thing in hybrids."
"The success of hybrid depends on affordability as the Indian consumer is highly value and cost-conscious," said Gaurav Vangaal, senior analyst, forecasting, at IHS Automotive. "Maruti can penetrate the cost levels in India given the volume of its products."
On the other side, Maruti is not the sole company in India trying to get the technology. But, also Mahindra & Mahindra, the country's largest utility vehicle maker is working on a concept of Hybrid for the XUV 500, which will be counted as the world's first diesel hybrid with a manual transmission features correspondingly.