The 1.3L JTD diesel engine’s production at the FCA-Tata Motors JV plant has ceased, marking the end of an era for diesel technology among passenger vehicles in India. The company rolled out the last unit at the Ranjangaon plant this week.
The 1.3L JTD diesel goes by many names globally: MultiJet (Fiat and Premier), QuadraJet (Tata Motors), DDiS (Maruti Suzuki), SmartTech (Chevrolet), etc. Also referred to as ‘Small Diesel engine’ or ‘SDE’ in short, the 1.3L JTD diesel engine was co-developed by Fiat-GM Powertrain, a JV of Fiat Auto and General Motors, and introduced back in 2003 at the Geneva Motor Show that year. It was developed for A- and B-segment vehicles.
In India, the 1.3L JTD diesel engine rose to immense popularity after it was introduced in Maruti Suzuki models beginning with the Swift in January 2007. Maruti Suzuki has been manufacturing this engine for its models since the beginning. In 2008, the FCA-Tata Motors JV started producing this engine. Only these two companies have made the small capacity diesel mill here. Maruti Suzuki presumably stopped making it last year, as it had said that it planned to stop making BS-IV models by December 2019.
The 1.3L JTD diesel engine wasn’t upgraded to comply with BS-VI emission norms as it wasn’t feasible commercially. A BS-VI upgrade would’ve been too expensive, and then there’s also the fact that the demand for this engine has reduced substantially. Some automakers have become self-reliant with an in-house developed diesel mill, while others have stopped selling A- and B-segment diesel vehicles to lower down their average emissions and avoid tax penalties.
FCA-Tata Motors manufactured 8 lakh units of the 1.3L JTD diesel engine in all.
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