Maruti Suzuki, country’s largest automaker has hinted that it might not offer diesel engine options on most of its small cars once the BS6 emission norms kick-in. This development would primarily be due to the fact that BS6 compliant diesel engine options will cost around Rs 2.5 lakhs more than their petrol counterparts.
Currently, the price difference between a petrol and a diesel option of the same grade/variant level stands around Rs 1 lakh. This difference is almost constant across all products (up to Rs 12-13 lakh priced cars) from majority of the manufacturers. However, once the BS6 emission norms kick-in, the updated diesel engines will cost an additional Rs 1-1.5 lakh, hence bumping up the price difference to Rs 2-2.5 lakh.
In a span of 4-5 years, with a daily running of around 60-70 km it is feasible to recover the additional Rs 1 lakh which one pays for a diesel motor. However, with the difference climbing to Rs 2-2.5 lakh levels, it would be next to impossible to recover the additional cost even over a period of 10 years (post which Diesel cars are not even eligible to run in cities like Delhi). Maruti Chairman, Mr RC Bhargava has revealed to Car Dekho that it does not make sense to invest in launching diesel powered cars.
If the sales numbers for the diesel powered small cars plunge, Maruti might plan to discontinue their diesel engine options. Maruti which is known for providing value for money products believes that once the BS6 emission norms kick-in, diesel engines will have a tough time competing with their petrol and CNG counterparts in the value-for-money quotient. This could mean that Maruti Swift, Baleno, Dzire, diesel variants will not be launched once BS6 is implemented.
The price bump is expected to affect all manufacturers and not just Maruti. Even Mahindra which has a heavy dependency on its diesel engine line-up had announced earlier that prices will go up by INR 1-1.5 lakh.
Diesel fans need not feel too disappointed as Maruti in all likelihood will still continue with Diesel engine options, albeit in bigger cars. As of now, it is currently testing a new 1.5 litre diesel motor which will get featured in the Ertiga and S-Cross at a later date. However, this development might officially pull the plug on the Fiat sourced 1.3 litre diesel motor which has been Maruti’s mainstay diesel motor for over a decade now.