Maruti Suzuki has already introduced the mild-hybrid system or the SHVS in its existing fleet of cars like the Ciaz and even the Ertiga. The company had mentioned then that the SHVS will be introduced in other cars as well. We spotted the Baleno SHVS recently and told you all about it, although we did mention that it was for the export market.
However, Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava said that the company is trying to exploit the space for small cars with green technology as big companies like Toyota are currently focusing on bigger ones. In a statement made to PTI, Bhargava said, “”In India it makes sense for hybrid technology for the smaller car because today globally there is no hybrid technology for small cars or low-cost car and that I think is needs to be developed. We, Maruti and Suzuki, are working on it,”
There was no time frame discussed, but we feel that this will happen soon. The SHVS unit doesn’t use expensive technology and is a cost effective solution to enhance a car’s fuel efficiency – though only slightly. And being cost effective has always worked to Maruti Suzuki’s advantage in India. The advantage of the SHVS unit is that it helps the car qualify to get a subsidy under the government FAME initiative. This will mean a marginal reduction in the prices of the cars (which will be passed on to the customers) of Rs 10-15,000. Currently, Maruti retails the Ertiga and Ciaz with the SHVS tech and both cars avail a FAME subsidy of Rs 13,000.
Considering the popularity of the Baleno and the Vitara Brezza, yes, these two cars are the obvious choices to come with the SHVS unit. However, Maruti Suzuki is trying its best to cater to the current demand of both cars and reduce the waiting period, so the introduction of the mild hybrid variants of the Baleno or the Vitara Brezza will add to the demand, which Maruti Suzuki might not have the capacity for. The company plans to start operations from its Gujarat plant early next year and this will certainly help ease the burden.
The Baleno SHVS, then, is only for export markets currently and having exported 2,300 India-made Baleno hatchbacks to the Japanese market, the company is looking at expanding its export markets. Of course, there’s also the new-gen Swift to look forward to, which might make it to India next year or if Maruti Suzuki plans to make us wait a little longer, we’ll see it at the 2018 Auto Expo.