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Mr. R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki, announced that the company will not be selling any diesel cars in the country starting 1 April 2020. He said that the high costs involved with upgrading diesel engines to BS-VI guidelines was reason for the decision.
The automaker plans to push petrol and CNG variants by offering incentives for the variants. They also plan to launch CNG variants for more cars on the portfolio. Diesel engine variants account for 23 per cent of all of Maruti Suzuki's sales and the company did say that they would re-introduce diesel engines of the demand for it persists.
Maruti Suzuki retailed 17.53 lakh cars during the financial year 2018-19. Diesel variants accounted for just over 4 lakh cars. That's almost a quarter of their total sales. Maruti Suzuki have been working on upgrades for their diesel engines and some of the newer ones are featured on the recent launches of the Baleno and the Alto. The Baleno and the Alto are BS-VI compliant.
With the new BS-VI regulations, a lot of manufacturers are considering phasing out smaller diesel engines. They say demand is likely to move toward petrol, hybrid, and electric variants in the future.
Maruti Suzuki currently offers diesel variants for the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the Maruti Suzuki Swift Desire, the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, and the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. Prices of the diesel portfolio ranges between Rs 5.99 lakh and Rs 11.48 lakh, ex-showroom (India).
While the number of cars in the diesel portfolio is a lot, Maruti Suzuki is confident that their customer base will be happy to move to petrol or CNG variants for now.
Thoughts About Maruti Suzuki Stopping Diesel Engine Production
Wow. That is a bold move. 23 per cent is a larger number. Best case, Maruti Suzuki may be able to retain a maximum 50 per cent of that number. Worst case, they lose 23 percent of their total customer base. People like, and enjoy diesel cars in India. While most may or may not know small differences and may not have complete knowledge of the upgrades featured, they are happy to buy diesel variants for two reasons - fuel is cheaper, and the car appears more powerful. Maruti Suzuki will have to bring a lot to the table of keep this customer base.