- Renault India is likely to phase out the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine.
- The company is considering a more cost-effective way to update the diesel engine with upcoming BS6 norms.
- With the future of Renault diesel cars in jeopardy, it has shifted focus to the budget models.
- Renault is working on a compact SUV codenamed HBC.
- The compact SUV is likely to be launched in India sometime by next year.
Renault India could discontinue its diesel cars in India before the stricter emission norms come into force next year. While car makers in India are planning to phase out small capacity diesel engines, Renault’s decision to axe diesel cars comes in line with its plan to axe diesel cars globally. Diesel car sales are declining due to the introduction of new regulations and hence the company has decided to restrict the development of diesel-powered models, an official at Renault was quoted as saying.
Renault India uses the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine for their models such as Duster, Lodgy and Captur. The same engine also powers some of the models in the Nissan line-up including Micra,Kicks and Sunny. With the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine being phased out, the Nissan Kick sales will suffer, which have been on the lower side with just 166 units sold last month. The company is, however, contemplating a cheaper way to upgrade the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine to the upcoming BS-VI emission norms by using a Lean NOx Trap (LNT). Even though it is not the most effective way to update the engine with BS-VI standards, but it seems a cost-effective way to retain the oil burner after the new emission norms are implemented next year in April.
Earlier, Renault had planned to upgrade the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine using the SCR system, the same technique was used to meet the Euro VI standards, albeit slumping demand for its diesel models in India prevented Renault from investing a huge amount in the process which would eventually make the cars pricier. While Renault Duster is still performing decently in terms of sales, Nissan Kicks and Datsun models are grappling with low monthly volumes. Hence, retaining the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine is crucial for Renault India.
The poor sales performance of Nissan Kicks has impacted the Renault-Nissan joint operations. Moreover, the phase-out of the 1.5-litre diesel engine would mean Renault would be left with just the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine as for its SUV range is concerned. Hence, Renault has now shifted focus to its budget models. It recently unveiled Renault Triber in the country which could turn out to be a game changer for the car giant in the Indian market. Renault is also working on a compact SUV being developed under the codename HBC which is likely to be introduced sometime next year.