As the deadline for implementation of BSVI nears, Maruti is planning to replace the diesel variants with CNG options, which could be first seen on the Swift
With BSVI norms nearing us with every passing day, the car manufacturers are fast readying themselves to embrace the stricter regulations. Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest-selling carmaker, will discontinue its diesel models and will focus on preparing hybrid and all-electric powertrains for the market.
In the meanwhile, it will bet big on CNG models to cater to those looking for really low running costs. To this effect, the Swift and the Ignis will soon receive CNG options. Speaking on the company’s plans, RC Bhargava, chairman, has commented, “All small cars in our portfolio will get converted to CNG. There is an acceptance from the government that CNG is a cleaner fuel, and it is being accepted for transportation. They are setting up 10,000 CNG distribution outlets.”
Right now, Maruti Suzuki is offering on as many as eight of its models, which include the
Alto 800, Alto K10, WagonR, Celerio, DZire Tour S, Eeco, and Super Carry. However, the company plans to launch CNG variants of more cars in its 16-model-strong product catalogue and Swift could be the next followed by Ignis, Dzire, Baleno and Ciaz.
A company insider has said in states that have a good network of CNG stations, as many as 30 per cent of company’s total sales come from the CNG variants. In the current financial year, the company has sold over 31,000 CNG-equipped cars.
The company ramped up the production of CNG models by 40 per cent, while it will be increased by another 50 per cent this year. Bhargava has pointed out that while factory-fitted CNG kits cost significantly more than those that are retrofitted, they offer a higher safety.
He said, “Retrofitment is done with imported parts – this is not Make in India. To promote Make in India, the government must encourage factory-fitted CNG vehicles… We should make CNG kits in India. Safety levels of CNG cars should go up.“