Maruti Suzuki seems to have had their lesson and is apparently readying its BS6 diesel lineup!
PTI reports suggest that Maruti Suzuki, India’s most trusted carmaker, might soon reverse their stand on diesel engines. The media report says that the carmaker is now upgrading its powertrain manufacturing facility at Manesar for manufacturing BS6 compliant diesel engines.
Maruti Suzuki had made a revolutionary move earlier this year when they announced to axe their entire diesel lineup as they moved into the BS6 era. Maruti’s diesels have always been among the most picked by Indians and axing them could prove to be lethal! However, Suzuki India was too ambitious and quite confident of their move and hoped to keep things running with their new BS6 compliant petrol engines and the eco-friendly CNGs.
The reason that Maruti Suzuki India stated for ditching the diesels was that the BS6 transition of these engines would require immense R&D and thus have huge costs involved. These would not be financially feasible for the marque and thus, the diesel offerings of the future would have to be priced much higher.
Pulling the plug on diesels essentially meant that the carmaker saw a decent decline in sales in the BS6 era. While the down growth did not get lethal owing to the brand image and the upper hand in the budget segments for the carmaker, it did see the petrols of the upper strata like the Ciaz and the Brezza lag behind the competition by fair bits. This was due to the fact that over 23 percent of the net sales for Maruti in the BS4 era was from the ‘big diesels’.
As for the competition, the Japanese bigshot’s policy of killing the diesels has been super-advantageous. Manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia are currently dominating the diesel space. Home-grown carmakers like Tata Motors and Mahindra are also driving in huge chunks of sales from the diesel sphere. Thus, it is quite the right time that Maruti Suzuki made up their mind to rethink their decision.
Maruti Suzuki had been using a Fiat-sourced 1.3, turbocharged, Inline-four diesel engine and an in-house developed 1.5L, turbocharged, 4 cylinder diesel mill in the BS4 era. The 1.3 FFiat sourced diesel is already available globally as a Euro 6 compliant unit. This means that it would require just minor tweaks to be BS6 compliant as well. The 1.5 L unit, however, would require serious R&D for the same, owing to the fact that it has been developed in-house by the manufacturer. Thus, the 1.3 unit is still the most probable and the most economically viable BS6 diesel that Maruti Suzuki could introduce in the near future.
As per the rumors from within the industry, the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga would be the first model to feature the BS6 diesel engine. A mule on test of the same, had recently been spied in Delhi NCR. It, however, had a 6 speed transmission, hinting at the possibility of having the 1.5 diesel unit under its hood. The BS6 diesel engines would eventually make their way to other MS models as well, like the Brezza, XL6, Ciaz, SCross and even the Baleno. The smaller cars like the Maruti Suzuki Swift are expected to continue powered just by the petrol mills.
Maruti Suzuki is hoped to launch their BS6 lineup sometime in 2021. It is unclear as to if the Maruti Toyota JV would have these oil burners made available on the Toyota portfolio as well.