Maruti Suzuki India has announced that it has transported over 7.2 lakh vehicles using Indian railways in the past five years. In 2020-21, over 1.8 lakh vehicles were transported using railways facility which is the highest-ever railway despatch by the company, as against nearly 88,000 units in 2016-17. Maruti says that the increased focus on using railways has helped the company offset over 3200 MT of CO2 emissions, cumulatively. The transportation by rail exceeded 1.8 lakh units in the last fiscal year which accounts for nearly 13 per cent of total sales in the same period.
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 to 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."
The operations started with the use of railway wagons (converted from old passenger coaches). These single deck wagons had a rake capacity to transport 125 cars. But with growing volumes, there was a need for a shift to high capacity dedicated wagons. So Indian Railways' design arm- Research Design and Standard's Organization (RDSO) took feedback from automakers to develop a new design, twin-deck rake that doubled the carrying capacity to 265 cars. Over 140,000 Maruti Suzuki cars were transported through these twin-deck rakes.