EXCLUSIVE: Maruti Suzuki’s much awaited entry into EV space delayed by several months | Autocar Professional


Maruti Suzuki’s long-awaited entry into the EV space with a mid-size SUV EV (code: YY8) based on the e-VX concept is set to see a delay of some months, sources aware of the matter told Autocar Professional. They also said that the company is trying to address multiple challenges of battery supplies and software issues that have delayed the start of production (SOP) by at least five months. 

Hence the SOP is likely to move from September 2024 to February 2025 at the earliest, effectively pushing timelines of exporting vehicles to Europe and Japan from 2024 end to next year. 

“It is just a delay of a few months, and it may not have a major impact. The segment is still very small, and there is always a ramp-up planned, which can be recouped based on the demand. A three to six month delay is normal in the industry,” sources said. 

The Indian launch date will also depend on the new production plan, being studied by the company. This development has come at a time when the overall electric vehicle market globally is witnessing a slowdown in growth including in India. The ramifications of the delay are also likely to be felt by Suzuki, which is banking on the YY8 to make its debut in Europe’s competitive EV market. Maruti Suzuki is a key export base for the YY8 and almost 75-80% of the output of 1.5 lakh units planned by the company is allocated for the overseas markets.

This unexpected delay towards the end of the YY8’s development cycle also highlights the challenges of software development in EVs due to the complexity of the electric powertrains, advanced features, and the need for continuous updates and innovation. Sources say that the company wants to enter the EV space with the right preparedness on both the products as well as distribution front and has hence taken this drastic step of delaying SOP by a few months to ensure that the product launch is glitch free. 

The company is reportedly likely to retail its EVs from its premium vehicle outlet Nexa. This could potentially mean – even the model meant for Toyota Kirloskar in India may also witness a change.

Maruti Suzuki has defined a long-term plan of launching half a dozen electric vehicles in the country by FY31 and it plans to enter into multiple segments – right from hatchbacks to SUVs. The company forecasts that about 15% of its total sales by the end of the decade will be electric vehicles.

The SUV is likely to be followed by the YMC – MPV and hatchback EV based on the eWX concept showcased by the parent at the Japan Mobility Show in 2023.

Critiqued often for its late entry into the electric vehicle space, Maruti Suzuki has claimed that the company has taken all these years to localise parts and it wants to make in India for global operations. 

Maruti Suzuki is of the opinion that it is entering the EV space at the right time, as the penetration hits 3-5%, it creates more traction in the marketplace, basis the evolution of the adoption cycle in some other markets. 

The company’s EV foray will happen around the same time as Hyundai introduces its Creta EV in the market and Mahindra & Mahindra launches a range of Born Electric Vehicles. 

An email sent to the company did not elicit any response.

Given the fact that Maruti is working on a large product portfolio of over two dozen models with an overburdened R&D department, it has been busier than ever before, and a delay of three to six months could be expected for some of its ICE models as well.  

The company has launched six to eight all new models in the last two years and is preparing itself for the launch of the all new Swift and Dzire in the coming quarters.


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