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April 25, 2019

Maruti Suzuki to axe sub-1.5-litre diesels

Maruti Suzuki will phase out all diesel models with engines less than 1.5 litres before Bharat Stage VI emission rules become effective from 1 April, 2020.

By Olly Wehring

Maruti Suzuki will phase out all diesel models with engines less than 1.5 litres before Bharat Stage VI emission rules become effective from 1 April, 2020.

It is the first company in India to declare 'no-diesels' for the compact segment which made up nearly half of its total domestic sales last year, local media reports said.

Diesel cars account for less than a quarter of the automaker's domestic passenger vehicle sales.

That share is expected to fall after BS-VI is introduced given the wider price difference between petrol and diesel models.

Maruti chairman RC Bhargava said: "The cost of upgrading the small diesel engine to BS-VI standard will be significant. With the price increase, diesel cars will become unviable. We will stop selling diesel vehicles from 1 April 2020."

The Swift, Dzire, Baleno, S-Cross, Ignis and Ciaz can be ordered with a 1.3-litre diesel engine while the compact Brezza SUV is diesel-only using the same motor.

"The segment where we may look at having a BS-VI compliant diesel engine is the 1500cc segment. Nothing below that. If there is demand, we will develop a 1500 cc diesel vehicle within a reasonable period of time," added Bhargava.

Maruti last month introduced a new 1.5-litre diesel engine in the Ciaz and this engine also will be used in the Ertiga people carrier and possibly the Brezza.

Fiat, which designed the 1.3-litre diesel, had decided against upgrading the engine due to cost. Suzuki makes it under a licence agreement.

Bhargava also said Maruti would phase out the diesel Super Carry van by the end of this financial year and replace it with petrol and CNG versions.

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