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American auto giant Ford has announced that it will continue to sell diesel models in India and has no plans of pulling the plug on it's smaller diesel engines. The manufacturer said that it would be ready with BS-VI compliant diesel engines for all its models by 1 April 2019.
According to TimesNewsNow, Vinay Raina, Executive Director, Marketing Sales & Service, Ford India, in a conversation with PTI, said, "We will continue to offer the power of choice to consumers and will not stop diesel models. Ford will also be fully ready with its range of BS-VI compliant diesel power-trains ahead of April 2020 implementation. This shows the company's commitment in offering what consumers want."
With diesel cars becoming costlier from the next financial year because of strict BS-VI emission norms, a majority of manufacturers have made official statements about ceasing smaller diesel engine production.
India's largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) recently announced that they were going to phase out all diesel models by 1 April 2020. MSI feels the increase in costs to make the engines BS-VI complaint would put smaller cars out of reach for buyers.
Mr. Raina however feels that consumers of utility vehicles have always preferred diesel motors. "For instance — Over 65 per cent of the consumers today buy EcoSport diesel variants compared to petrol. Despite government lifting subsidies on diesel over the years, we have seen the demand for diesel stay and expect the same to continue in 2020 and beyond," he said.
Ford expects an increase in prices of passenger vehicles by up to 10 per cent once the BS-VI norms are implemented. However they feel that prices will increase across the board and not just for diesel engines. For has also launched it's first Aspire CNG variant to support a possible shift from diesel when the time comes.
Ford also intends to continue offering petrol variants to complement diesel motors. Mr. Raina said, "Ford — with the introduction of EcoSport in 2013 — was among the first to bring petrol engines into the consideration set of UV buyers. To complement the diesel technology, we will continue to deepen the portfolio of petrol engines and offer more BS-VI compliant petrol engines options to our consumers."
Ford turned profitable in India in 2018, after a two decade presence in the country. They feel they are in a position to invest in upgrades for their diesel fleet.
Thoughts About Ford's Plans To Continue Selling Diesel Models
This is good news. Ford wants to put it profits back into development and upgrades, and still offer all models with diesel engines. This is smart move. One of two things may happen — Ford will become the next Maruti Suzuki, or other manufacturers may rethink their diesel engine strategies. What exciting times!