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Maruti Suzuki to Stop Selling Diesel Cars from April 2020

Diesel models account for only 22-23 percent of total sales of Maruti Suzuki and demand is falling rapidly.

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Car and Bike
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“If you are a fan of Maruti diesel cars then you have only a year to buy one,” said RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki on the sidelines of a press conference announcing the company’s results.

“From 1 April 2020, we will not be selling diesel cars.”
RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki Limited

The clamp down on diesel and the shift to Bharat Stage 6 emission norms is hitting the country’s largest car maker hard. The company sees only 22-23 percent of its sales coming from diesel vehicles. It cannot justify further investment in diesel cars at this rate.

Demand has dropped sharply in cities like Delhi, where diesel cars are taxed heavily and registration certificates are valid only for 10 years, while petrol cars still get a 15 year validity. This has seen resale value of diesel cars also bottom out.

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Maruti Suzuki had set up a separate diesel engine plant a couple of years ago at a cost of Rs 1,700 crore in Gurugram. This plant was manufacturing the 800 cc diesel motor for its commercial light truck, the Super Carry. Recently, it also began manufacturing the 1.5 litre diesel engine that was recently launched in the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz diesel.

For most of its its small cars, Maruti has been using a Fiat-sourced 1.3 litre multi-jet diesel engine since 2008. This engine is often colloquially called the “national engine” because of its use in a diverse number of vehicles, across manufacturers.

The Maruti Suzuki Swift, Ignis, Baleno, Ciaz, Ertiga, S-Cross, Vitara Brezza all use this same engine. Tata also uses a derivative of the engine in its earlier Indica Vista, Zest, and Bolt. Fiat India used the same engine in the Punto, Linea, Avventura and even a variant of the Palio. The same engine was also used by General Motors in its MPV, the Chevrolet Enjoy.

Now, Maruti will stop using the 1.3 multi-jet from Fiat because it cannot be upgraded to Bharat Stage 6. To replace that it recently introduced the 1.5 litre diesel engine developed in-house, which it first launched in the Ciaz diesel a month ago. Maruti will be upgrading the 1.5 litre diesel engine that it makes to Bharat Stage 6 norms.

Depending on demand, Maruti will continue to offer the 1.5 litre diesel engine in select models only. Most of its hatchback and small car range will be only petrol, CNG or hybrid models from now on.

(With inputs from PTI)

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