At the inaugural session of the Automotive Component Manufacturing Association (ACMA) conclave, Maruti Suzuki's big boss Kenichi Ayukawa, challenged the component manufacturers in India to manufacture key electronic components of cars in the country. He said, "I have a challenge and an invitation to offer to you. The Maruti Suzuki car is about 90% local, component wise. But some key parts and Electronics are areas where we still need to import. But we want to Make in India. If anybody can make electronic components and some key parts in India with Quality and Reliability, it will help not only our company but the entire Indian automobile industry."
The challenge from the biggest carmaker in India comes at a time when the company's product portfolio is all set to transition to BS6 and this will also change the outlook of the offerings in the country. While diesel engines have taken a back seat as far as Maruti Suzuki is concerned, the company is looking to push for hybrid cars in the country, for which local technical know-how as also manufacturing will prove to be beneficial.
Maruti Suzuki is banking on hybrid cars for India to help in the transition to all electric cars
Electronic systems which will be made in India will help in not only keeping the prices of the final product in check, but also enhance the technical prowess of the component manufacturers in the country. Maruti Suzuki is working closely with suppliers for its electrification strategy and this will involve localisation of a high percentage of its components. The company will also leverage its partnership with Toyota for its hybrid system. The company will source the battery pack from the Suzuki-Denso-Toshiba consortium for which a plant has been set up in Gujarat and it is expected that production of lithium-ion batteries will begin from 2020.
Ayukawa also said that the auto industry will provide all the support needed but the component manufacturers have to rise up to the occasion to deliver quality products to the industry. He said, "As your customers, we will try to give you maximum visibility on the future direction. But as your business partner let me share that the ticket for success is your own capability.