Maruti Suzuki To Push CNG Variants To Fill Space Vacated By Small Diesel Cars
Maruti Suzuki had in April announced it would stop selling small diesel cars from April 2020, when Bharat Stage-VI emission standards come into effect in India. The stricter norms would substantially increase manufacturing cost of small diesel engines.
At the time of announcement, diesel cars accounted for 23 percent of all Maruti Suzuki cars sold in India. The carmaker, at present, offers its Alto, AltoK10, Celerio, WagonR, Dzire, Ertiga in CNG variants.
“For Maruti Suzuki in the future, CNG vehicles are likely to make up for the space vacated by small diesel engine cars,” Senior Executive Director (Engineering) CV Raman told Press Trust of India. "We believe that for a small car, CNG is a very good option. It is an alternative to oil consumption. We have the widest range of CNG cars for our customers. We are keen to promote green fuels.”
The government's focus is also on expanding the gas-based economy, Raman added.
"There is a lot of emphasis on expanding CNG availability in the country," he said.
In the April-July period of 2019-20, Maruti Suzuki's domestic sales were at 4,74,487 units as against 6,17,990 units in the year-ago period, down 23.2 percent.
An estimated 30 lakh CNG vehicles are currently plying on Indian roads with sales concentrated in Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Cumulatively, Maruti Suzuki has sold over five lakh CNG cars so far.
The carmaker, however, has kept its options open, saying if there is demand for bigger diesel engines after BS-VI implementation, it will consider offering them to consumers.
It is currently focusing on making its petrol and CNG engines BS-VI compliant with seven of its models already running on petrol BS-VI engines.
On Monday, Maruti Suzuki shares fell 0.38 percent to Rs 6,231.20 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 2.16 percent to 37,494.12 points.