The country’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) recently discontinued the single airbag variants of the S-Presso and Alto hatchbacks. This move was spotted in the revised price list that a few of the variants of these models were missing.
In the newly revised price list of MSIL’s India portfolio, the Std, LXi, VXi, VXi AMT, LXi CNG, and VXi CNG variants of the S-Presso and Std, LXi, and LXi CNG of the Alto were absent. These were the entry-level variants of the two hatchbacks and came with single airbags as standard. Now with the discontinuation of these variants, only the dual airbags are now available for buyers to choose from.
Following this move, now all of the models in Maruti Suzuki’s India portfolio will come equipped with dual-airbags which in terms of safety is a good thing. Although, this will also mean that there will be a price bump in the entry-level variants prices of these models from now on.
This decision was taken by Maruti Suzuki in view of the recent mandate issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India that all the vehicles in the country should have dual airbags as standard. Meanwhile, recently the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India Nitin Gadkari also released a draft proposal in January mandating six airbags in all passenger cars manufactured from Oct. 1. Currently, in draft form, the rules are yet to be finalised, however, if finalised this would mean that the price of these entry-level vehicles will see a steep price increase.
In other Maruti Suzuki news, the homegrown auto giant is now planning to launch new electric vehicles in the market, in a bid to compete with other manufacturers. Hisashi Takeuchi, new Managing Director, Maruti Suzuki in a recent interview with a media outlet said that the carmaker plans to roll out its first electric vehicle in 2025. Last month, Suzuki Motor Corporation also announced that they would be investing over 10,000 crores in the development of electric vehicles and electric vehicle batteries in the Gujarat plant.
During the media interaction, Hisashi Takeuchi said. “We are a little behind our competitors in introducing the (EV) model to the Indian market, but we see that still, the market demand for those EVs is limited. Actually, sales of EVs in the Indian market are still very, very limited.” He added that they have been working on electric vehicles for years now. They have carried out extensive tests on existing models. The battery packs and motors are placed on to models that are already available in the market.
Hisashi Takeuchi also stated that they are working on electric automobiles for the Indian market. He also affirmed that the company will offer numerous electric vehicle models in India in order to improve its position in the industry. He went on to say that as demand for electric vehicles grows in India, Maruti Suzuki wants to be the market leader in the Indian automotive arena, which includes not just internal combustion engine models but also all passenger automobiles. He also stated that Maruti Suzuki aspires to be the market leader in the Indian electric car market.