The Indian auto industry has lost almost four years due to Covid-19 and so did Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), RC Bhargava, Chairman said on Friday. The market is moving away from small cars or hatchbacks and on to sports utility vehicles (SUVs) or multi utility vehicles (MUVs). And with that Maruti’s market share has also come down, says MSIL chief.

“There has been a shift in the composition of the market. We are moving away from a market, which was predominantly small car or hatchback to a market in the upper segments of SUVs and MUVs. And we are in the process of transitioning that. Though our market share has come down, but our capacity has been going up. The utilisation of our capacity has been the maximum possible,” he said.

Changing needs

He said the capacity utilisation has been constrained only by unavailability of certain components and Covid restrictions in the recent years. There was no need for any manufacturer to worry if it is able to ‘produce and sell everything which is physically possible for it to produce’, he added.

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“You will see more developments in the SUV segment in the Auto Expo in January, when we will introduce vehicles for 2023-24. Such developments happen because we as a car manufacturer have to follow what our customers want. If the customer profile is changing, we have to change with them,” he noted.

From 51% to 41%

MSIL’s market share till three years ago was 51 per cent in the Indian passenger vehicles market, which has come down to 41 per cent now.

When asked if MSIL was still sticking to its target to sell 20-lakh units in the ongoing fiscal, Bhargava said, “We have not given up on our challenge of reaching two-million (20-lakh units). The main determinant of our ability to succeed will be semiconductors. At the moment, there is a constraint of semiconductors fundamentally from one company, and that is affecting four of our models.”


Bhargava said MSIL has no certainty of how much will be supplied in the next five months. “If we get reasonably good supplies, we should reach the target. It’s something we want to get to and are trying to get. We have the capability too, but the factor that finally determines our success or failure is not in our hands.”

On the overall industry, he said that it is expected to come back to pre-Covid level. “ Sales will be ahead of 2018-19; the hatchback segment will still see de-growth. But overall the industry in the country will have a growth rate, which looking at all parameters, could be around 8 per cent for the auto industry for a while,” he added.