Taking a leaf out of Maruti Suzuki India’s book, Hyundai Motor India, the country’s second largest carmaker, plans to reduce the weight of its cars by 5% by 2020 to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emission.
In 2008, Maruti, whose volume market share is three times that of Hyundai, started a programme, ‘one component one gram’, to reduce a gram of weight from every component of its car to make it more fuel efficient.
The programme, which was more relevant in India, was first launched in Japan by Osamu Suzuki, then chairman and chief executive officer, Suzuki Motor Corporation.
The Korean auto major has made a global commitment to improve the fuel efficiency of its vehicle by 25% by 2020. “We are looking to make cars lighter by decreasing the weight of the components,” said Rakesh Srivsatava, head of sales and marketing at Hyundai India.
But, Srivastava said, with the current set of engines Hyundai could achieve only 5% to 10% efficiency by changing gear ratio, which it was working on at its research and development unit in Chennai. “The headquarters will introduce new engines and bring about a dramatic change. In India, the change will be incremental,” he said.
According to Hyundai’s internal estimates, 70% of all Hyundai car engines will have to be upgraded. “It will make Hyundai more competitive in the market, making it a technology leader,” said Anil Sharma, analyst at IHS World Markets Automotive.
Hyundai’s move will help the firm bring down CO2 emissions of its vehicles and make them more safe. The Indian auto industry is going through its biggest transition with the introduction of unified tax regime (GST), new safety norms and crash tests.
Earlier this year, the Narendra Modi government advanced the implementation of the BS-VI emission standard to 2020. In addition, “carmakers will have to declare their star ratings for mileage, forcing every company to examine their engines’ performance ,” Srivastava said.
Hyundai, Sharma said, was not the only carmaker that was trying to introduce new engines. SUV manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra introduced the 1.99 litre diesel engine after the ban on such engines above 2 litres. It is also working on a new 1.5 litre diesel engine.