India’s leading car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has officially announced that they will be phasing out all of its diesel cars in India by April 2020. It is one of the biggest steps taken by an automotive company regarding the future of small diesel engines. According to the new government regulations, the BS6 emission norms will be in effect from April 1, 2020. Maruti Suzuki took this big decision as their diesel engines are not ready to meet the strict BS-VI requirements. In addition to this, the brand also stated that they will be focusing more on upgrading their petrol cars lineup plus they will also launch small all-electric cars in India.
Judging from this, we will not be able to see diesel Maruti Suzuki cars moving out of the showrooms in the country starting from April 2020. Currently, the brand offers two diesel engines for its line up, an in-house developed 1.5L diesel engine that made its debut with the updated Ciaz early this year. The 2nd diesel engine is a 1.3L DDiS Fiat-inspired MultiJet engine.
According to the reports, Maruti Suzuki is willing to tune out a BS6 compliant engine for its 1.5L diesel cars only if there will be significant consumer demand in the future. For now, the decision to discontinue all the diesel cars in India is final. The diesel lineup of Maruti Suzuki which includes the much appreciated Swift, Dzire, Vitara Brezza, Ertiga, Baleno, and Ciaz contributes a total of 30% to the brand’s monthly sales number. After discontinuing the diesel cars, how the brand will manage to handle the elimination will be an interesting thing to look out for.
Commenting on the decision to rule out diesel engine, R. C Bhargava, Chairman Maruti Suzuki stated: “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. 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.”