Rising prices of diesel is believed to be the reason behind Maruti Suzuki reconsidering its decision to launch a BS6 compliant diesel engine
Maruti has discontinued diesel models from its lineup after the industry adopted BS6 emission norms in April 2020. However, the company left the door open for consideration to bring back diesel engines if there is enough demand.
Though the carmaker has never officially announced their intention of re-launching diesel engines, news reports claimed that the car maker is getting ready to launch diesel Brezza and Ertiga early next year. Maruti Suzuki was gearing up to revive its 1.5-litre diesel engine.
The reports even claimed that the carmaker had started preparing for the production of BS6 iteration of the diesel unit at its engine assembly plant in Gurgaon. But now a new report has surfaced, which claims that Maruti has shelved the diesel BS6 project for good.
The Indo-Japanese carmaker had plans to employ this oil burner in their utility vehicles (UVs) as there is still demand for diesel UVs in the segment. In addition to that, Maruti also had plans to use this diesel BS6 engine in their upcoming UVs. The carmaker has planned to introduce many new UVs by the end of 2023. These include models such as the new-gen Vitara Brezza, made-in-India Jimny 5-door, a mid-size SUV jointly produced by Toyota, etc.
The decision to shelve diesel engines altogether was taken by parent company- Suzuki Motor Corporation, citing return on investment issues. Another valid reason pointed out by Suzuki to part ways completely with diesel engines is the rising fuel prices in recent times. The company’s focus has also shifted towards electrification of vehicles.
In FY21, price of diesel has risen by Rs 18.58 per litre from Rs 62.29 on April 1, 2020, to Rs 80.87 a litre on March 31, 2021, a growth of 29.83% in Delhi. More importantly, difference in prices between petrol and diesel has come down considerably which is currently an average of Rs 10 per litre (approximately). Reviving diesel engines at this point doesn’t make much sense with stricter emission norms to follow in the next few years.
Shift Towards Hybrids, EVs
Suzuki had recently announced its electrification strategy which will involve introduction of multiple models with strong hybrid technology in the near future. The company has announced that it will introduce its first fully electric vehicle by 2025. The focus will lie not just on hybrids and EVs but also on CNG as an immediate alternative fuel option to diesel cars.
Maruti is planning to expand its S-CNG lineup in India by offering a CNG powertrain option on all models retailed under the Arena chain of dealerships. Some of the upcoming CNG models include Swift, Ertiga, Dzire and Vitara Brezza. Sales of diesel-powered vehicles have continued to decline MoM post implementation of BS6 norms.