India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki recently announced that they have transported over 7.2 lakh vehicles using Indian railways in the past five years. In 2020-21, more than 1.8 lakh vehicles were transported through the railways, which is the highest-ever railway dispatch by the carmaker as against 88,000 units transported back in 2016-17. The carmaker said that the increased focus on the railways has helped the automaker offset over 3200MT of CO2 emissions, cumulatively. The transportation by the Indian railway excessed around 1.8 lakh units in the previous fiscal year, which accounts for nearly 13 per cent of total sales in the same time span.
Explaining the objective of using railways for transporting vehicles, Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India said,
"The transportation of finished vehicles via railways has many tangible benefits. It is a clean, environment-friendly mode of transportation. It reduces congestion on highways, and there is more space available for other vehicles. Therefore, as a conscious effort at Maruti Suzuki, we have taken important steps to enhance vehicle transportation via railways. We thank the Ministry of Railways for their support, which helped to increase our volumes transported via rail. In the last five years, over 7.2 lakh vehicles have been dispatched via railways, nearly 1.8 lakh by far the highest in FY2021 alone."
These operations were started using railway wagons. The single-deck wagons have a capacity to carry 125 units. However, due to growing volumes, the single deck wagons will soon get replaced by high capacity wagons. The design arm of Indian Railways- Research Design and Standard’s Organization (RDSO) took feedback from the carmaker to develop a new design, a twin-deck rake, which can carry around 265 cars at once.
This will make the car transportation process much easier. This will also reduce the waiting period for several cars, which have high demand in the Indian market. Maruti Suzuki is known among the buyers for offering cars, which are reliable and cheaper to maintain. The top-selling car in the Indian market is Maruti Swift. Recently, the carmaker introduced the new facelift model of the car, which features subtle cosmetic updates on the outside and inside.
In other news, Maruti Suzuki will also be looking at bringing the five-door Jimny to India late this year or in early-2022. The Suzuki Jimny long wheelbase was recently spied testing in Europe and we expect this could underpin the five-door India-spec Jimny as well. The Suzuki Jimny will be powered by the same 105hp 1.5L K15B petrol engine that you find in a lot of other Maruti Suzuki cars like the Vitara Brezza and the Ciaz. Upon arrival, it will compete with the likes of the Mahindra Thar and upcoming Force Gurkha.