Last week, Maruti Suzuki announced its plan to cease the sale of diesel-engine cars from 1 April 2020. The move comes as a result of higher costs involved to upgrade an existing BS-IV powertrain to BS-VI compliance. That said, R C Bhargava, Chairman - Maruti Suzuki, has hinted the company will introduce a 1.5L BS-VI diesel engine only if there's demand for diesel cars post the implementation of the new emission norms.
According to Bhargava, Maruti Suzuki's diesel plans will depend on customer acceptability, and is independent of the OEM's choice. Currently, all Maruti Suzuki diesel cars are powered by a 1.3-litre DDiS engine, barring the Ciaz, which also gets an in-house developed 1.5-litre E15A DDiS 225 motor. The new powertrain will soon make its way into cars like Ertiga and S-Cross, and will be on sale till 31 March 2020. The engine will make a comeback in BS-VI guise only if customers are willing to pay for cleaner powertrains.
Diesel sales accounted for over 23 per cent of the total car sales of Maruti Suzuki in FY2018-19. Moreover, cars like Vitara Brezza and S-Cross are currently available with diesel powertrains only, and not having these cars after the BS-VI rollout will significantly dent Maruti Suzuki’s revenue. That said, the company is looking at various powertrain options for its cars, including mild hybrids, CNG-powered and pure electric vehicles. However, Maruti Suzuki will continue exporting BS-IV diesel cars to markets where there are no legal hurdles.