Maruti Suzuki won't be having any diesel model on sale on the day in the BS-VI era initially, but it's not retiring from the diesel vehicle business just yet. The company will be a year or so late in introducing a BS-VI diesel engine for its vehicles, but it indeed plans to have one on offer, as per a new report from The Economic Times.
Maruti Suzuki currently has three diesel engines. The first is the Suzuki-developed E08A 0.8L two-cylinder unit, which was introduced in 2015. Above it is the D13A 1.3L four-cylinder unit, which was co-developed by Fiat-GM and introduced (internationally) by Fiat back in 2003 and is originally called SDE (Small Diesel Engine) internally. The biggest diesel engine at the Indian automaker is the Suzuki-developed E15A 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit that was introduced earlier this year.
Of the three diesel engines, only the E15A 1.5L diesel engine will be upgraded to BS-VI. So, most of the sub-4 metre models launched in the future will be sold with only petrol engines and/or petrol-CNG engines. Maruti Suzuki will increase its reliance on petrol-CNG engines for its sub-4 metre models to compensate the offset the drop in sales caused by discontinuation of the smaller diesel engines. The company may offer 12V mild-hybrid technology also on more sub-4 metre models (in addition to the Maruti Baleno).
The Maruti Ertiga could be the first model to get the BS-VI E15A 1.5L diesel engine in 2021. It was recently spied being tested with this engine. Maruti Suzuki is developing a full-hybrid powertrain as well. But that, too, will be reserved for its expensive models like the Maruti Ciaz, Maruti Ertiga and Maruti S-Cross.
For the record, most of Maruti Suzuki rivals, including Hyundai, Mahindra, Tata Motors and Honda are upgrading their diesel portfolio to BS-VI standards. Volkswagen and Skoda have decided to offer a BS-VI diesel engine in only imports, while Renault and Nissan are yet to reach a decision.
As per an estimation, Maruti Suzuki has sold around 500,000 diesel vehicles last fiscal. An internal estimation has suggested that these numbers will fall close to half this fiscal. With the re-introduction of the 1.5L diesel engine early next decade, the company is expecting the sales to reach that level again.