In a shocking move, Maruti Suzuki has announced that it will discontinue all diesel cars in its portfolio from April 2020. This move comes in the wake of the BS-VI emission norms that come into effect from April 1, next year. As a result, in less than a year from now, there will be no diesel models on sale in India from the country’s biggest car manufacturer.
Maruti Suzuki currently has two diesel engine options across its range – a 1.3-litre four-cylinder unit sourced from Fiat, and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder block that recently made its debut in the Ciaz sedan. Both these engines are currently not compliant with the stricter BS-VI emission norms. As a result, the company will not be able to use these power plants post April 2020.
It is worth noting here that Maruti can indeed modify its freshly developed 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine to suit the BS-VI requirements. However, the company has decided to wait and see whether there is enough demand for diesel engines post BS-VI implementation, before making an investment in its diesel power plant. Currently, 30 per cent of Maruti’s sales revenue comes from diesel-powered models.
At the moment, Maruti Suzuki sells diesel variants of popular models like the Swift, Dzire, Baleno, Ciaz, Ertiga, Vitara Brezza, and S-Cross. The last two of these models don’t even get a petrol engine option in their lineup. As a result, we expect to see Maruti plonk a petrol engine in both these models in the coming months to continue selling them post April 2020.
We do expect Maruti to tweak its 1.5-litre diesel engine in a few months and start offering it with its bigger models like the Ertiga, Ciaz and S-Cross. However, this would be done if the company sees it economically viable to make a big expense on the engine. If all manufacturers decide to not offer diesel engines in this price range, we might as well see the death of the DDiS engine lineup.