Maruti is the first company in India to declare a ‘no-diesel’ plan
Shoppers have less than a year to choose a diesel-powered hatchback from Maruti Suzuki as the company will bring down the curtains on them starting next fiscal.
The car market leader will phase out all models with diesel engines less than 1.5 litres in view of the Bharat Stage VI emission norms kicking in from April 1, 2020.
Maruti is the first company in India to declare a ‘no-diesel’ plan in the compact segment which made up nearly half of its total domestic sales last year.
Diesel cars command less than 25 percent of Maruti’s total domestic passenger vehicles sales currently, as per company executives. The company said it will produce diesel models purely based on consumer demand.
This share is expected to slide further after BS-VI comes in given the expanded price difference between petrol and diesel models. Diesel is expected to cost around Rs 2.5 lakh more than the petrol version, up from around Rs 1 lakh currently.
RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki said, “The cost of upgrading small diesel engine to BS-VI standard will be significant. With the price increase, diesel cars will become unviable. We will stop selling diesel vehicles from April 1, 2020.”
The Delhi-based company has compact cars and sedans such as Swift, Dzire, Baleno, S-Cross, Ignis and Ciaz powered by a 1.3-litre diesel engine. The compact sports utility vehicle Brezza is also powered by the same engine. Brezza does not have a petrol engine as of now.
“The segment where we may look at having a BS-VI compliant diesel engine is the 1500cc segment. Nothing below that. If there is demand, we will develop a 1500 cc diesel vehicle within a reasonable period of time”, added Bhargava.
On March 28 Maruti introduced an all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine in the Ciaz. The same engine will also be seen on the Ertiga people carrier in the coming weeks and perhaps on the Brezza too.
Italian carmaker Fiat who was the original manufacturer of the 1.3-litre diesel had decided against upgrading the engine due to cost concerns. Suzuki manufactured the same engine under a licence agreement with Fiat.Earlier on April 25, Bhargava also said Maruti Suzuki will phase out the diesel version of the Super Carry by the end of this financial year and replace it with petrol and CNG versions.