India's leading passenger car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has announced discontinuation of all diesel cars from its line-up from April next year. The company will cease the production of diesel cars owing to the high cost involved in the production of BS6 emission norms-complied engine. It is to be noted that the stringent emission regulations under the purview of BSVI will come into effect in India from April 1, 2020.
Maruti Suzuki gave the rationale for the phase-out plan of diesel cars by saying that improving its diesel engine to make it compliant with BS6 norms will lead the cars to lose their competitive pricing in the segment, thus making it unviable for customers.
"From April next year, Maruti will have no diesel cars for sale," chairman R C Bhargava said when asked about the future of diesel variants - often blamed for rising pollution in cities - in the company's line-up. "People who love diesel cars may rush to buy them now. It's their last chance... If I was a fan (of diesel), I would buy only this year", Bhargava said.
The company is expected to discontinue the production of diesel cars by 2019 end as after the implementation of upcoming emission norms, unsold inventory cannot be sold.
Interestingly, in the last fiscal year 2018-19, the company sold 4 lakh diesel cars which account for 23% of its total domestic sales. The company's first diesel car was launched in 1998 as diesel Zen.
Nonetheless, the company's chairman Bhargava hinted that it might re-evaluate its decision to discontinue diesel cars in a case when there is still demand for larger diesel cars with engine capacity of 1500 cc or more in the BS VI category.