India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki leads in factory-fitted CNG segment with more than 85% market share
It was in 2010 when Maruti had first launched factory-fitted CNG kit with WagonR. Over the years, other cars were made available with CNG option. The company’s CNG portfolio currently comprises WagonR, Alto, S-Presso, Eeco and Ertiga. New Celerio will also get CNG option soon. Based on demand, other Maruti cars like Brezza, Baleno, Swift, Dzire and Ciaz could get CNG option.
Maruti CNG sales
Maruti is bullish on CNG segment, as sales of its CNG cars have consistently increased in recent years. From 74k units in 2016-17, sales zoomed to 1.62 lakh units in 2020-21. In view of increasing demand for CNG cars, Maruti expects sales numbers to almost double in current fiscal. The company is expecting sales of around 3 lakh CNG cars in 2021-22.
It is apparent that expanding CNG portfolio will further boost sales of CNG cars. In the short to medium term, Maruti has plans to offer CNG option with 3-4 cars. If customers demand, a decision can also be taken for offering CNG option with Nexa range. It includes Ignis, Baleno, Ciaz, XL6 and S-Cross.
There are multiple reasons why demand for CNG cars has spiked in recent times. Apart from rising fuel prices, the expansion of CNG gas distribution network is also boosting CNG car sales. The government has been playing an active role in making CNG available at more locations across the country. It’s imperative, as CNG helps the country to reduce its oil import bill.
As compared to 143 locations three years back, CNG is now available at 293 locations. Number of CNG filling stations is also on the rise. As of now, there are around 3,300 CNG filling stations. This is expected to increase to 8,700 in the next 1.5 years. By 2025, the number of CNG filling stations could be around 10,000. As CNG becomes easily accessible, more users will be motivated to switch to the cleaner fuel.
Maruti’s New Promo – Kam Se Kaam Banega
Another factor to be considered is that diesel prices are now pretty close to that of petrol. For anyone looking to reduce running cost, CNG would turn out much cheaper than diesel. Moreover, CNG offers higher mileage than both diesel and petrol. Maruti is best suited to target this space, as it has discontinued diesel variants entirely. This syncs well with Maruti’s new tag line of ‘Kam se kaam banega‘.
Customers prefer factory-fitted CNG, as it is considered safer and more reliable. Maruti CNG cars offer multiple benefits such as intelligent injection system for consistent performance and improved mileage, retuned suspension, fortified CNG structure, safety switch, and longer engine life.
As of now, CNG car sales contribute more than 12% of Maruti’s total sales. This is expected to increase, as more cars are provided with CNG option. With growing preference for CNG, other carmakers like Tata Motors and Hyundai are also expected to expand their CNG portfolio.