Make in India can reinforce India’s export hub image: RC Bhargava, Maruti Suzuki Chairman


New Delhi: Even as connected, autonomous, shared and electric mobility solutions are disrupting the automotive landscape globally, vehicle makers can’t afford to take their eyes off conventional vehicles which will continue to be a formidable part of business in the future.

Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava on Thursday emphasised there is a need to focus on alternate energy solutions such as biofuels and compressed natural gas in India’s drive to bring on road cleaner and greener vehicles and reduce the dependency of oil imports.

Given the current cost structure of electric vehicles, customer acceptance would continue to be a challenge in the near future. In the meantime, hybrid vehicles — vehicles powered by biofuels and compressed natural gas — can contribute significantly towards reducing India’s oil import bill.

“Only 10 million cars, out of the 70 million vehicles on road by 2030, will be electric.

So for the non-electric vehicles, we need to consider energy solutions which are clean and green,” Bhargava said on the sidelines of the ETAuto Global Auto Business Summit.

The day-long summit deliberated and discussed issues right from ‘Make in India’ to mobility solutions for future including the role of startups and innovators in this disruptive environment.

Industry stalwarts including RC Bhargava, Vivek Chand Sehgal, chairman of Samvardhana Motherson Group, and Shi Jie, head of engineering at China’s largest car maker SAIC Motor, gave their views on the disruptions ahead.

Sehgal cautioned that there is no doubt the automotive industry is being influenced by connected, shared, autonomous and electric vehicles, yet they still account for a very small portion of the overall industry.

“Yes, there is a lot of talk, but the action is not as big as talk. About 102 million cars were sold, only one million were electric, there are factors emerging on the horizon but they are not dramatic, there will be a gradual shift. The core market is still very strong and one cannot lose sight of it to grow,” added Sehgal.

Motherson Sumi today has become the fastest growing auto component maker in India and fast expanding wings globally.

India is on the radar of the biggest vehicle makers in the world and it is set to become the third-largest car market in the coming three to five years. The experts attending the event underlined that beyond the significant domestic demand opportunity of the future, India can reinforce it’s image of an exports hub with ‘Make in India’ for not just small cars but electric or hybrid vehicles.

Ashok Taneja, MD & CEO of Shriram Pistons, welcomed governments move to offer no import duty for electrical vehicle components. However, he stated that these duties should be gradually hiked in order to promote local manufacturing.





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