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Suzuki worried about future of company in India amidst EV push

Suzuki worried about future of company in India amidst EV push

Tokyo, November 3, 2017,

Toshihiro Suzuki, CEO, Suzuki Motor Corp has expressed concern over its future in the country as India continues down the EV path. On Thursday, Suzuki made his apprehensions very clear when he said, “As the industry shifts towards EVs (electric vehicles), when it comes to India, our volumes are so large that I worry that we could be caught flat-footed if there was a sudden shift towards electrification.”

India is focusing on electric vehicles in a big way by policy-backed incentives for hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. The government hopes to achieve complete electromobility by 2030. TH ecurrent GST regime even levies only 12 per cent tax on EVs, demonstrating how eager India is to achieve said goal.

This poses as a giant problem for Suzuki Motor Corp as it holds a 56.2 per cent stake of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (giving it the controlling interest), producing cars that dominate the Indian market. The country’s largest automaker, however, does not produce battery-electric cars at the moment. The sale of gasoline powered vehicles in India by Maruti Suzuki have resulted in a 25 per cent rise in Suzuki’s profits, making it an all time high, according to the Reuters report. Despite this, Toshihiro Suzuki, who also serves as a board member for Maruti Suzuki India, has said that he was anxious about the future.

“Our results may be what they are, but they don’t offer me much comfort,” he told reporters at a results briefing.

However, all is not lost. “Suzuki has claimed that they are working on EVs. The company will set up an alliance with automobile giant Toyota Motor Corporation to generate the technology to support EVs.

“Hopefully by the time we do that (make electric vehicles), Suzuki and Toyota will come to some kind of settlement in terms of how that agreement is going to be implemented and if that includes EV technology then that will also become available,”said RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

Back in April, Suzuki said that it will form a joint venture with two Japanese firms, Denso Corporation and Toshiba Corporation, to produce lithium-ion batteries for EVs in India.

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