In what comes across as a big announcement, Maruti Suzuki’s Chairman, RC Bhargava has announced that the country’s most popular and biggest car maker will pull the plug on its diesel-powered cars, starting April 1st, 2020. It is also the day when the new BS VI norms will become effective for all new automobiles in India. The announcement comes close on the heels of the manufacturer introducing a new, in-house developed 1.5-litre diesel engine for the Ciaz sedan.
Maruti Suzuki has been working to upgrade most of its cars to meet the upcoming regulations before time. The manufacturer launched the Alto 800 with a BS VI compliant engine, upgraded the Baleno with a 1.2 Dualjet petrol motor and also made the existing 1.2-litre K-series engine ready to meet the change. The reason cited for phasing out diesel engines is that making them compliant with the stricter BS VI norms will require upgrades which will be so expensive, their diesel-powered cars will no longer justify the brand’s value-for-money proposition.
Currently, 23% of their total sales comprise of diesel-powered vehicles, where the manufacturer sourced the 1.3-litre Multijet engine from Fiat to meet that demand. Which brings us to the newly introduced 1.5-litre diesel and its fate. Depending on demand, the carmaker could decide to continue or reintroduce the engine at a later date. It will depend on consumer demand. Although, if Maruti reintroduces this new motor, it won’t be powering their smaller cars and will be reserved for models which can ask for a higher price tag.
Maruti Suzuki’s current portfolio includes products like the Vitara Brezza and the S-Cross, which are only available powered by a diesel engine. Whether the car maker will plonk a petrol motor for these, fit the new 1.5-litre diesel and continue to sell them, or pull the plug on these cars completely could be anybody’s guess. For the car buyer though, if you do intend to buy a new car, it is a good idea to decide on one before April 2020. The new emission norms will require vehicles to carry many upgrades which will hike input costs and as a result, we as consumers will have to shell out more.