- Maruti to discontinue diesel variants before April 2020.
- Maruti Swift to be the first car to get CNG variants.
- Factory-fitted CNG kits far better than retrofitted kits, says Maruti boss RC Bhargava.
Maruti Suzuki, like every OEM in the Indian market, is working hard to introduce BS-VI compliant engines in its cars before the deadline of April 1, 2020. While the company has already rolled out the BS-VI certified petrol engine, it has no plans to introduce a BS-VI fuel certified diesel engine and instead, it is going to replace the diesel variants with CNG fuel options. The reports have indicated that the Swift could be the first model to get the CNG variant, followed by the Ignis.
Recently, RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) had said that all the small cars in the company portfolio will get CNG option. The Government has also acknowledged that CNG is a cleaner fuel and it can be used in vehicles for transportation purposes. Even the Government is in the process of setting up 10,000 CNG stations. Presently, half of the total 16 products in the Maruti's stable, which includes Alto 800, Alto K10, WagonR, Celerio, DZire Tour S, Eeco, and Super Carry, come with CNG as optional fuel. But, the company is trying to offer the CNG fuel option with every product in its portfolio and hence, work is being done in this direction to launch CNG-powered Swift, Ignis, DZire, Baleno, and Ciaz.
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MSIL's 30 percent share of overall sales come from CNG variants in the states which have a decent network of CNG filling stations. It retailed around 31,000 CNG cars in this financial year. The company also increased the production of CNG vehicles by 40 percent and it intends to take it to 50 percent by this year. Also, Bhargava stated that factory-fitted CNG kits might be expensive than the retrofitted kits but they offer a higher safety level. The retro fitment process is carried out with imported components that are not in line with the PM's vision of Make in India. And, hence the government should encourage the factory-fitted CNG kits which are made locally in India and come with a higher level of safety.