Maruti Suzuki will stop selling diesel powered cars in India from the 1st of April, 2020, the day when Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) norms come into force across India. But why, you may wonder. The current diesel engines that Maruti Suzuki has – the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet and the 1.5 liter DDiS 225 (in-house developed) – are not BS6 compliant. So, for a few months at least, starting April 2020 you will not be able to buy a diesel car from Maruti Suzuki. All this could change by 2021 though as Maruti Suzuki is said to be developing a BS6 version of the 1.5 liter DDiS 225 engine that’s currently offered with the Ciaz and Ertiga models. The Bs6 compliant version of this engine is likely to be offered from 2021 on the Maruti Ciaz, Ertiga, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza. Until then though, these cars will have to make do with petrol mild hybrid engines. The petrol powered S-Cross and Vitara Brezza will be launched shortly.
Coming to the smaller Maruti cars such as the Swift, Baleno and Dzire, which are currently sold with the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet diesel engine, these cars will shift to petrol mild hybrid, petrol-CNG and petrol-LPG dual fuel engines. The cost of offering a BS6 compliant diesel engine makes it unviable for these cars to be offered in diesel, says Maruti. Maruti’s prime competitors in the Indian market: Hyundai, Kia, Mahindra, Honda and Tata Motors, have all announced plans to offer BS6 compliant diesel engines in most of their cars, except the smaller offerings. Maruti Suzuki has no option but to offer BS6 diesels on its larger cars to stay competitive, or the automaker will be forced to cede marketshare to car makers who offer diesels. This is the main motivation for Maruti to make the 1.5 liter diesel engine (94 Bhp-225 Nm) BS6 compliant.
Meanwhile, here is a statement from people in the know about Maruti Suzuki’s BS6 plans.
It is a given that the 1.5-litre diesel has to come (for Maruti Suzuki), but everyone is keenly waiting for the final report on techno-commercial viability. Just Maruti Suzuki volumes alone may not make the business case, hence supplying for Toyota models in the future is an option being discussed to lower the cost.
Maruti for its part has declined to comment when ETAuto contacted it. In the past, Maruti’s Executive Director Shashank Srivastava has hinted that diesels would make a comeback into Maruti’s line up if the automaker sees enough demand for it.