India’s largest car manufacturer – Maruti Suzuki stopped selling diesel engine options earlier this year. The change that came due to the introduction of the BS6 emission norms in the Indian market may change next year and Maruti Suzuki may bring back the diesel engine in 2021.
Maruti Suzuki will offer the upgraded BS6 diesel engine starting with the high-volume vehicles like the Vitara Brezza and the Ertiga. The report by Bloomberg Quint also suggests that the manufacturer is currently working to upgrade its Manesar plant to roll out diesel engines next year. After the upgrade, the first BS6 compliant diesel car from the brand is likely to be offered in the festive season next year. There is even a possibility that the manufacturer might launch it before that. The Manesar-baed plant of the manufacturer produces powertrains for its models on sale in India
It is not known why Maruti Suzuki is planning to re-enter the diesel market yet. The Ertiga is widely used in the cab fleet in India to bring down the costs of operation, Maruti Suzuki launched S-CNG variants of various models including the Ertiga. However, it is not available with the Vitara Brezza. It should be noted that all its main rivals including Hyundai, Tata and Ford offer diesel engine options in the market.
While the details about the upcoming powertrain are not known yet, Maruti Suzuki is likely to work on the 1.5-litre diesel engine. The all-new diesel engine was introduced in the Indian market months before Maruti Suzuki decided to exit the diesel engine segment altogether. The engine was developed in-house and was available with cars like Ciaz and Ertiga in the market. Before that Maruti Suzuki relied on Fiat to supply the diesel engines. Apart from the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel, Maruti Suzuki had also used the 1.6-litre MultiJet with the S-Cross before it was discontinued too.
When Maruti Suzuki Chairman – RC Bhargava announced the exit for the diesel engine market in April 2019, he had also said that they can make a come back. He had said that if the demand for the diesel engines arises in the market, they will make a comeback to cater to that demand. Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, also hinted that they might make a comeback. He had said that Maruti Suzuki is watching the market very closely and if there are customers who do not care much about the economy for running the car may still want a diesel car.
Currently, Maruti Suzuki uses three petrol engines to power its entire line-up. Doing so, the manufacturer has also created a calculator to show the savings on the petrol car compared to the diesel in a longer run.
It should be noted that Suzuki and Toyota, who have joined hands at a global level do not offer any small capacity diesel engine in India. With the introduction of the diesel engines in the Maruti Suzuki portfolio, Toyota may make use of the same engines too. Currently, Toyota sells the Vitara Brezza as the Urban Cross and the Baleno as Glanza in the Indian market. More Toyota-Maruti Suzuki cars are expected in the coming months.