Uncertainty surrounding use of diesel engines in the future, following recent treatment dished out by National Green Tribunal (NGT) to cars equipped with diesel engines, has caused automakers in India to put future plans on hold.
A few years, ago, demand for cars with diesel engine was on the rise. This pushed automakers in India to invest in manufacturing small diesel engines to power their entry level to small cars. But with recent orders by the government on diesel engines, more and more car buyers are staying away from buying a car with diesel engine.
A new report now reveals that companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor have all either totally dropped plans to manufacture small diesel engines or put them on hold, even as a slow shift in buyer’s preferences towards petrol engines has been noted.
Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors were the first, who were reported to have started working on small diesel engine for entry level cars. While Maruti did launch the 800 cc diesel (Celerio), Tata is yet to launch their small diesel engine of a similar capacity (Nano diesel).
It has now been reported that Maruti Suzuki is dropping plans of launching their 800cc diesel engine in any more cars (which means those reports about Alto diesel, WagonR diesel, are all not going to happen anymore). In addition to this, they might stop sale of Celerio diesel in the future as well.
Speaking about other car makers, Toyota has cancelled their plans of fitting a new 1.5-liter diesel engine on its upcoming new sedan (Honda City / Maruti Ciaz rival). Likewise, Tata Motors have put off further development plans of 1.2 and 1.6-liter diesel engines while Honda has also shelved the idea to introduce a 1.2 liter three cylinder diesel engine on its soon to be launched small car.
Even as the Supreme Court has temporarily lifted the ban on registration of large diesel passenger vehicles in NCR and introduced a special environment levy to be paid by automakers, the NGT is still fighting and discouraging use of diesel engines in vehicles. All this has had a negative impact with market share of diesel vehicles dipping from 58% in 2012 to 40-42% as on date.
Plans to introduce BSVI emission norms by 2020, hefty cost involved to upgrade diesel engines to comply with these standards besides the price gap between petrol and diesel engine passenger cars which could result due to these investments has caused automakers to put off plans where diesel engines on small cars are concerned.
via Economic Times