Maruti Suzuki Celerio diesel could be discontinued as automakers review their strategies on diesel powerplants
India has been one of the worst hit countries in the world in terms of air pollution. Several cities in the nation are rated by the WHO (World Health Organization) as harmful for living due to the soaring pollution level. Indian government has reacted late to slap down the ongoing fiasco which resulted in the implementation of ban on registration of diesel vehicles above 2,000cc capacity in Delhi and NCR region.
The ban was temporarily lifted recently on a condition that the environmental levy is paid. Due to the moves against diesel vehicles, the customers affinity towards gas-guzzlers has slowly faded in recent times forcing automakers to react accordingly and alter strategies. It has been reported by ET Auto that Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Honda are reviewing the investments on diesel powertrains or electing to ditch them altogether.
It was confirmed that government’s mandatory BS VI emission norms will come into effect as soon as 2020 and therefore making changes to existing diesel engines to comply with those stringent regulations will only become expensive. It will create a huge price gap petrol and diesel variants putting the latter sales’ under jeopardy. Maruti Suzuki is rumoured to be axing the production of 800 cc diesel engine currently powering the Celerio.
Consequently, the Alto 800 diesel plans could be hugely affected. Meanwhile, Toyota has already dropped plans of fitting the 1.5-litre GDI diesel unit powering the Etios twins on the forthcoming Vios sedan. The Japanese automaker, instead, is reportedly focussing on bringing hybrid vehicles to India like the Corolla hybrid and Vios hybrid.
Honda entered the diesel market with the fuel-efficient i-DTEC diesel motor but it is said to have already ditched the 1.2-litre unit on a supposed small car. Tata Motors is another manufacturer who has put its plans on hold for the 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre diesel engines. Government’s scrapping of subsidy on diesel has brought the price difference between petrol and diesel very close which resulted in buyers preferring less expensive petrol-powered cars of late.
Source: ET Auto