Maruti Suzuki is developing an all-new 800cc diesel engine for its van, the Eeco. The Eeco is currently offered only with a 1.2-litre petrol engine, with an option of a CNG kit. The bigger news though, is that this engine might be also adapted to be used in the recently launched Celerio hatchback.
A Financial Express report quoted an anonymous source: "Maruti is working to adapt the 800cc diesel engine, its first self-developed engine, for the Eeco van. The engine will first be launched in the new Maruti LCV (codeY9T) and the Celerio this fiscal.”
Maruti Suzuki’s promotion campaigns for the AMT gearbox equipped Celerio seem to have done the trick as the car has been selling really well, managing to outsell the manual variant. The automatic variant has managed to rack up 52 per cent of the total sales, almost double the company’s expectations. Adding a diesel engine is sure to increase the price of the hatchback, but is also sure to improve its sales figures by leaps and bounds. It is not yet confirmed whether the diesel will be available with the AMT gearbox, as it might push the price of the car too high up.
The Eeco on the other hand is the only van in the segment which is not offered with a diesel unit. With CNG being available in only 15 cities across the country, Eeco’s rivals, the Tata Ace Magic and Mahindra Maxximo are making the most of it with their diesel variants. These vehicles are mostly used for commercial applications in rural and semi-urban markets and Maruti Suzuki is losing out a huge chunk of the market due to the absence of a diesel variant. With the diesel variant, Maruti Suzuki will hope to attract buyers from these fast growing markets, which contribute to 32 per cent of the company’s total sales.