Maruti Suzuki India to exclude a diesel engine; focus on improving the fuel efficiency of gasoline cars


Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has ruled out returning to the diesel segment because it believes sales of such vehicles would decline further with the start of the next phase of emission standards in 2023, according to a senior company official.

The country’s largest automaker believes the next phase of emission standards would increase the cost of diesel vehicles, which would further impact their sales in the market which in recent years has seen a gradual shift towards cars. gasoline.

“We’re not going to be in the diesel space. We had indicated earlier that we will study it and if there is any demand from customers, we can make a return. But in the future, we will not participate in the diesel space, ”said CV Raman, CTO of MSI. PTI in an interaction.

He cited the upcoming stricter emissions standards as the main reason to avoid diesel-powered cars.

In 2023, the new phase of emission standards will come, which is likely to increase costs. We therefore believe that the percentages of diesel could fall further. We don’t know the competition but as MSI we have no intention of participating in the diesel space, ” Raman noted.

According to industry estimates, the share of diesel vehicles is currently less than 17% of overall passenger vehicle (PV) sales. This is a massive reduction from 2013-2014, when diesel cars accounted for 60% of overall sales.

Already, many automakers nationwide have removed diesel versions from their respective portfolios with the start of the BS-VI emissions regime from April 1, 2020. MSI had removed diesel models from its portfolio with the onset of BS emissions -VI more stringent. standards.

The company’s entire model range is currently powered by 1-liter, 1.2-liter and 1.5-liter gasoline engines that meet the BS-VI standard. It also offers CNG trim on seven of its models.

Raman said the company will focus on improving its existing gasoline powertrains in terms of fuel efficiency and that in the future it may also consider a new family of engines to power its product portfolio.

We have said that we are going to improve our existing powertrains, which is already happening. Celerio’s new K10-C engine is an improvement. Likewise, the 1.2-liter engine has undergone some modifications. So from an energy efficiency perspective, we will improve our internal combustion engine technology, ” he said.

According to the company, its newly introduced brand new version of Celerio boasts an energy efficiency of 26.68 km / liter, which it claims is the highest of any gasoline car in India. Raman said the company will also improve electrification aspects of its cars, such as start-stop technology.

“We already have mild hybrid technology in the high end. In addition, we spread more CNG due to the low cost of operation. Seven of the 15 models already have CNG trims. In the future, more brands will come with the technology, ” he added.

There would be hybrid technologies and electric vehicles (EVs), so there will be a lot of changes from a powertrain perspective, Raman noted.

Commenting on other alternative fuels, he said the company is already 10 percent ethanol (E10) compliant and depending on fuel availability, E20 will be available from 2023.

“So we are also going to make all our vehicles compliant with the E20 standard from 2023. In terms of flex fuels, yes we are going to study, but there are problems in terms of fuel availability.

We are not sure when it will be available and how much it will cost. But we will obviously study this. Such engines take some development time and customer acceptance is also a factor, ”said Raman.

He noted that the company is aware of the changes taking place in the industry in terms of technologies and functionality.

“We will also be there to meet the customer’s needs in terms of design, performance, comfort, convenience, functionality and technology,” he said.

When asked about MSI’s upcoming products, he declined to share details, but added that the company has a robust product plan.

When it comes to the safety aspects of MSI cars, with many of its models not performing well in Global NCAP crash tests, Raman said that during the product development phase a lot of internal testing was done. on his cars.

The vehicles are tested with different types of impacts, not only sideways but also staggered … the criteria for internal testing are very strict. Obviously, we are meeting all of India’s mandated security standards, ” he added.

He noted that the industry body SIAM has written to the government to have Bharat NCAP, so that there is uniformity and standardized protocols for everyone in the industry.

(With PTI entries)

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Posted on: Sunday November 21, 2021 10:01 PM IST


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