Maruti Suzuki India's move to shut production at Gurgaon and Manesar plants in Haryana is a regular drill and is done twice a year for maintenance, said chairman RC Bhargava.
India's largest car maker on May 27
closed production at two plants for a day as it faced issues regarding the stocking of cars, reported PTI, citing sources.
Earlier in May, the company had slashed its vehicle production by around 10 percent in April. It was the company's third consecutive month of taking a production cut.
Talking about growth in the auto industry, Bhargava said the sector will not see much growth in the first half, but the second half of the fiscal could be different. He said couple of months after the elections one would see some movement in demand but there was no change in demand in the last two weeks.
Usually, pre-election year the sales dip but post-election year they go up, however, this time around there are other factors such as oil prices that could impact sales, Bhargava said. There is also uncertainty in the mind of people with regards to costs, regulations, safety norms etc.
On the electric vehicle segment, Bhargava said the problem with electric vehicles is that because India is basically a small car market, the cost of electrification of small cars is high and so it is out of reach of customers.
In addition, for small cars, there is a problem of charging infrastructure because a large portion of small car holders do not park their cars at home and therefore do not have the facility of charging the cars at night, he added.
“Movement of electrification for small cars is still going to wait till these two problems of affordability and infrastructure can be resolved. This will take a little time,” he said in an interview with CNBC-TV18. However, the bigger cars can be electrified because their owners have charging infrastructure and the proportionate increase in cost is lower, he added.
Talking about scrapping policy, he said it is not a means of doing anything long-term for demand.According to him, shared mobility actually increases the extent to which people drive in cars. The total man-kilometres goes up and because you have to not look at just the first time sale of cars but also the replacement cycle. So more the cars are used, quicker is the replacement, said Bhargava.