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Maruti Suzuki diesel models could be discontinued in the not-too-distant future. The upcoming BS-VI emission standards that come into effect from April 2020 will not only make diesel engines a bit cleaner, but also a lot expensive than it is right now. Furthermore, environmentalists and various government bodies have always had a disliking for polluting diesel engines.
Livemint shares that the Indian automotive brand is considering an alternative shift from diesel models to those running on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). While some diesel engines can be made BS-VI-compliant by a relatively easy process, certain examples require a lot of re-engineering. In addition to this, the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency) rules mandate that vehicles should be more fuel-efficient as well as less polluting from April 2022.
Through a brief analysis, Maruti Suzuki understood that it is better to discontinue such engines rather than making the extra effort to make it compliant. The brand is already in talks with its parent company, Suzuki Motor Corp.
In general and affordable categories, sales of petrol vehicles are higher than that of diesel models. However, once we go up the ladder, it is quite evident that SUV and luxury-car buyers prefer diesel variants; mainly due to the comparatively lower running costs.
Maruti Suzuki is yet to confirm whether it is indeed discontinuing its diesel products. The company currently employs the proven 1.3-litre DDiS diesel power plant in a good majority of the product range. The engine is not BS-VI-compliant and will eventually have to be phased out. However, there are rumours that Maruti Suzuki is developing an all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine. If that is the case, the company need not discontinue its diesel portfolio; at least for a considerable period of time.
Coming back to Maruti Suzuki's CNG strategy, the company aims to sell nothing less than two lakh CNG-powered vehicles a year by 2022. In most cases, CNG power plants are modified versions of existing petrol engines. Even though the power output will be significantly lower than its petrol counterpart, CNG engines promise good mileage figures and low running costs.
In a recent update, Maruti Suzuki CNG models have achieved a five-lakh sales milestone.
Thoughts On Maruti Suzuki Diesel Cars Being Discontinued
As mentioned before, Maruti Suzuki is still in talks with its parent company and is yet to share an official statement. However, since a new 1.5-litre diesel engine could be in the making, Maruti Suzuki might not be discontinuing diesel cars entirely, but just the current 1.3-litre DDiS engine.