Time to say goodbye to the Maruti Suzuki diesel engine cars. The report is officially confirmed. The company has said that they will halt the production of all diesel powertrain by April 2020 in India. This is the result of the upcoming BS VI norms which will soon get into effect by April 2020. Hence, the popular Japanese automotive maker will now sell only petrol engine range in the country.
Maruti Suzuki needs to modify almost 16 models in the passenger and commercial car range in order to satisfy the latest BS VI emission regulations. At present, the company produces a Fiat-based 1.3-litre MultiJet engine and the 1.5-litre DDiS engine. In India, Maruti has introduced almost 14 models which are powered by diesel engines.
The most shocking revelation is that the popular SUV Vitara Brezza and the S-Cross also run on the 1.3-litre diesel engine. Although, the company will re-launch the Brezza with 1.5-litre petrol engine before the deadline. Some other models including Swift, Baleno, DZire, Ertiga, Vitara Brezza, S-Cross, and Ciaz are also offered in diesel variants. The company has also decided to introduce petrol and CNG variant of Super Carry.
Commenting on the discontinuation of diesel cars, R. C. Bhargava, Chairman Maruti Suzuki India said, “Any vehicle is phased out if the assessment is that it will not sell. The conversion cost of a BS4 to BS6 diesel car has a certain amount of money involved, which is quite significant. If you do that on a small diesel car, the percentage increase in the selling price of the car becomes significant.”
He further added, “Now the viability of such a car also depends on the relative prices of petrol and diesel. If the gap between the two is large then customers will pay a higher price for a diesel vehicle, because overall it works out. But, if the gap between petrol and diesel is small, then it doesn’t work unless you drive 5000 km a month which very few people do. So today the gap is very low, and with the price increase which is involved in the conversion to BS6, and the petrol-diesel price, our assessment is it’s not going to be a viable product, which customers will buy.”
The company can introduce the 1.5-litre diesel engine again in the country as they have spent more than Rs 1,000 crore for its production. However, the report is not confirmed yet. It seems the requirement and an agreement with Real Driving Emissions (RDE) norms will decide whether it will make a come back or not. This harsh step will definitely affect the overall sales of the company as about 22-23 per cent of Maruti Suzuki car sales constitutes the diesel cars.
Maruti Suzuki has also stated to halt the production of BS-4 compliant diesel powertrains by December 2019. Fiat, the origin of the 1.3-litre diesel engine had ruled upon renewing the engine, keeping in mind the cost factors. Suzuki has a contract with Fiat to assemble the same powertrain. After the full impact of BS-VI, diesel cars will cost approx. Rs 2.5 lakh more compared to petrol models. It will be exciting to see if the company maintains the same sales mark in the country by dropping the diesel range.
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