India’s largest and the most trusted car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has decided to pull off the sale of diesel cars in the country from April 2020, due to the higher manufacturing cost of the BS VI emission norms that will be effective from the next year.
The company commanding 51% share of the car market, is currently getting about 23 per cent of its total domestic sales from diesel cars. It has sold around 4.63 lakh diesel units in the last revenue.
The company’s best-selling models viz. Vitara Brezza and S-Cross come in the diesel variants only. Other models like Swift and Baleno hatchbacks, Dzire mini sedan, Ciaz sedan and Ertiga MPV and Super Carry, the Light commercial vehicle, have petrol as well as diesel versions.
The company has also decided to shut down the manufacturing of diesel version of its light commercial vehicle also. It will be available in petrol/CNG version only.
When asked about the company’s plan about the diesel vehicles, MSI Chairman RC Bhargava stated, “From April 1, 2020, we will not be selling diesel cars”.
But he further added that if there is a market for BS VI diesel cars, the company will go ahead and develop a model to fulfil the demand of the sector.
He said, “depending on how customers react to BS VI diesel cars, MSI will develop such a car within a reasonable period of time”.
He stated, “The only segment we may look at having a BS VI compliant engine is the 1,500 cc engine. So if there is a demand, we will develop the BS VI 1500 cc diesel engine within a reasonable period of time.”
Small diesel cars will have a major impact in terms of pricing with the coming of BS VI compliant engines. He told the reporters that the current year is the best time to buy diesel cars as from the next year, diesel variants will be much costlier. So the company will not launch a diesel engine below 1,500 cc from the coming year due to the price factor.
He further said “Ever since the BS VI compliant engines have come (in Europe) diesel vehicle sales have been de-growing even there because the price difference between petrol and diesel has become much bigger. I don’t think the Indian market would be any different, here the buyers are even more price conscious”.
When asked about the transition of the company’s petrol engines to BS VI compliant models, he said that the company will upgrade all the 16 models and their variants before March 31, 2020.
“We have already brought in Alto 800 with BS VI compliant engine. This process is going to go on throughout this year,” Bhargava said.
When asked about the models with strong hybrid technology, MSI MD and CEO, Kenichi Ayukawa said that they don’t have a plan to implement the technology this year but they are developing such models.