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Renault India has announced plans to stop production of its diesel-powered cars from 2020. Renault has joined the list of manufacturers stepping away from diesel engines. The company does not see any returns from investing in the development of BS-VI emissions norms compliant diesel engines.
BS-VI emissions norms are set to kick in from 01 April, 2019. BS-VI norms is comparable to the EURO-VI norms currently followed in Europe. What this means is that the emissions of vehicles will have to come down drastically.
Several manufacturers have already gone the BS-VI way with a few models, but a few of them are struggling with it owing to multiple factors, especially with diesel-powered cars. Diesel has always been the more polluting fuel amongst all fossil fuels thanks to its comparatively raw and unrefined nature.
Adding to this is the fact that diesel engines have to be turbocharged and its internals have to be stronger in order to deal with the high compression ratio. This means that diesel engines are a lot more expensive to manufacture as well.
With the BS-VI norms kicking in, companies will have to spend a lot more on lowering the emissions of diesel engines as more complicated components will have to be added. The development costs to upgrade a diesel engine to BS-VI and the costs to develop a new engine are way higher than a petrol engine.
Manufacturers then consider the time it would take to retrieve that cost and would also take the sales numbers of a car into consideration before going ahead and developing an engine.
Statistics show that diesel engine sales are dropping steadily and it would soon be replaced entirely by petrol engines, again thanks to the expensive price tags that diesel variants command. Hence, companies like Renault do not see any profit in developing a BS-VI diesel and prefer discontinuation of diesel engines.
Renault India currently has the Kwid, Triber, Lodgy, Duster and Captur in its product portfolio. Of these, the Duster, Lodgy and Captur have diesel and petrol engine options. The diesel engines used in these models are a little too old and it makes sense for Renault to discontinue it.
The Renault Captur as a model itself is expected to be discontinued in 2020. Apart from this, Renault is expected to launch a new compact SUV next year. The SUV - codenamed HBC - will sit below the Duster in renault's product portfolio.
Renault is also aiming at launching India-specific products in the country. The French company is also looking at targeting the rural areas and for this, it plans to increase the number of touch points in the country from 350 to 720.
Thoughts On Renault Discontinuing Diesel Engines From 2020
Maruti Suzuki, Nissan, Volkswagen and Skoda have announced plans to discontinue their engines. Now, Renault has joined the bandwagon. Renault hasn't been doing very well in the Indian market of late and hopes are riding on the recently-launched Triber. Will Renault be able to revive sales in the BS-VI era? Guess we will have to wait and watch.