The leap from BSIV to BSVI emission norms will make the future of diesel engines foggy in case of mass-market cars. Suzuki, which holds a 56.2% stake in Maruti Suzuki, is not at all that keen continuing diesel engines post BSVI rollout.
Three sources have told Mint that Suzuki wants to completely stop production of diesel vehicles. This, undoubtedly, would have a huge impact on sales in India. Then, it goes without saying that it won’t be possible to increase the annual sales to 2 million units by 2020.
Suzuki wants to shift its focus to CNG, and with the government giving impetus to that technology to curb fuel imports in the future, it makes sense to be an early bird. If things go as planned, India will have about 10,000 CNG stations within a decade, covering over half of the country.
Maruti is totally against the move of discontinuing diesel engines entirely and switching to CNG. Such a move may put a dent in sales and severely impact short-term and mid-term goals. The discontinuation of the Fiat-developed D13A 1.3-litre diesel engine by March 2020 may deteriorate the market performance next year, with no replacement planned in case of the Swift, Baleno and Dzire top-sellers.
Maruti has developed an all-new ‘E15A’ 1.5-litre diesel engine, and it plans to go ahead with its release in the market. The company will introduce it in the Ciaz and Ertiga this month. The Vitara Brezza and S-Cross may get this engine directly in the upgraded, BSVI form, around the end of the year. The company has faced several technical problems in the development of the new diesel engine.