‘Govt only talks but no concrete step on ground’: Maruti Suzuki chairman R.C Bhargava hits out at Modi govt. for neglecting automobile industry

R.C Bhargava, chairman of the country’s largest auto company Maruti Suzuki India, said on Wednesday that government officials make a lot of statements about supporting the auto industry, but when it comes to taking the right steps. , nothing really happened. He said that it is a thing of the past that the car industry and passenger car is a luxury product and only the rich use it. But it seems that this thinking still holds.

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Addressing the 61st Annual Convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the automobile industry body, R.C Bhargava said that the automobile sector in the country is at a very important stage with the decline in the last few years. Until the question of affordable cars for the customer is addressed, it is not going to pick up again with conventional engine vehicles, nor CNG, biofuels or EVs (electric vehicles).

Need to take concrete steps
“We are passing through a situation where the industry has been declining for a long time. And I just listened to Amitabh Kant (CEO of NITI Aayog). People holding important positions in the government have given statements about the importance of the auto industry. But talking about concrete steps needed, which will stop the downward trend, I did not see anything happening on the ground.

The Maruti chairman said that it is now a thing of the past that the car industry and passenger cars are a luxury and only used by the rich. But it seems that this thinking still holds. Bhargava said, “If this mindset changes, I think planners, economists, thinkers, writers, journalists all should have been worried long ago about what is happening to the growth of the auto industry.”

He said that the figures are in front of everyone but no measures have been taken to improve the situation. Bhargava said, ‘I am sorry to say that very little has been done to change the situation and it is a matter of concern for me.’ He said that the reason for the growth of the auto industry is the people of this country. For those who wish to have their own car. The reason for the development of the region is not any policy move.

R.C Bhargava said that he wants the customers of the country to have safe and clean vehicles. He is a supporter of it. If we follow European standards, there is a cost involved. So, how can we make it cheaper considering the current income level? He said that he fully supports Amitabh Kant’s talk about electric vehicles. “I completely agree that we have to move towards EVs. But the question behind this is the cost of EVs.

R.C Bhargava said that if the auto industry is to give impetus to the economy and the manufacturing sector, the number of cars in the country should be 200 per 1,000 people, which is 25 or 30 now. This would require manufacturing millions of cars every year. “Are we sure that there are enough customers in the country who have the means to buy lakhs of cars every year? Is income growing fast? Are jobs increasing? I think when we make our plans, these aspects are always left out. I don’t think the car industry will pick up the pace with CNG, biofuels or EVs until we address the question of whether cars are cheaper for customers.

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