New Delhi: The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) on Thursday said that it will not sell any diesel cars effective from next year.
Maruti Chairman RC Bhargava said that effective from April 1, 2020 company will not sell diesel cars from its portfolio considering that there are no mass demand. Though MSI may consider selling diesel cars above 1500 CC. Notably, only recently launched Baleno falls under this category
“Only 1500 CC diesel vehicle has a future. We will see if we need to produce diesel vehicles depending on market demand,” he said.
The government has set 31st March 2020 as the deadline to sell and register a BS IV Vehicle. Maruti believes that diesel engines below 1500 CC will not make any economic sense once BS VI norms kick in.
The MSI chairman further said that BS VI and new safety regulations will have an impact on the company's books adding that manufacturer and dealers have to work together to keep prices stable and there is a good margin.
“We will work out our production and ensure no BS IV vehicle is left before the due date. We will upgrade all 16 models by the due date,” Bhargava said.
Bhargava noted that Election results have created an uncertainty in the sector while there is also uncertainty on fuel prices due to Iran issue.
Talking about slowdown in the auto industry he said, “This year we're faced by the fact that auto sector is in a slow down. Slowdown happens usually before during elections like in 2008 and 2013. In 2008 and 2013 market picked up though we're not sure whether market will pick up this time.”
The Maruti Chairman set the minimum range for sales and production at 4 percent and upper range for sales and production at 8 percent. “We have decided to keep a range of target instead of having a yearly target,” he said
He said that the company has decided to grow its LCV range. "BS VI Diesel LCV will see a sharp cost increase, hence we have decided not to produce any diesel LCV in 2020. We will have petrol and CNG variant of LCV. We will stop domestic BS IV production before March 2020" he added.
Speaking on international production, he said it will depend on norms of those country.