Maruti Suzuki’s Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) diesel emission-compliant vehicles face a speed bump in 2019. The requisite standard of fuel will be available only from 2020, the year the advanced emission norms take effect. All the completely new models the car market leader launches in 2019-20 will be compliant with BS VI.
While BS VI petrol models can run on the presently available BS VI fuel, the diesel vehicles cannot run on the inferior grade, said C V Raman, senior executive director, research and development, at Maruti Suzuki. Some of its best-selling models rely heavily on diesel. The Brezza is only available in diesel, 40 per cent of Ertiga sales are of diesel models and 20 per cent of the Baleno. The firm is looking at options, such as a new petrol variant of the Brezza and hybrid versions of this and the other models, said people aware of company’s plans. With a sharp price hike expected in the diesel models after BS VI implementation, demand for the latter is anyway expected to fall out of favour.
“Transition to the BS VI diesel model will be difficult,” said Raman. The ministry of petroleum and oil companies have said they would start flushing out the BS IV fuel only by January or February of 2020, two months before the BS VI regulation takes effect, he noted. Most other automobile makers either plan to launch models a year ahead of the new emission regulation or closer to the date, for instance, Mahindra and Mahindra.
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Company’s compact SUV, the XUV3OO, that will go on sale in the first half of February, will have a BS VI compliant model, said Rajan Wadhera president of its automotive sector this week. Tata Motors’ Harrier, expected to be launched next month, will only be available in BS VI and will get a BS VI version closer to 2020, said the company’s spokesperson. A Toyota Kirloskar spokesperson said all the new calendar-year models would come with BS VI, as fuel availability across the country is an issue.
By the Supreme Court-mandated deadline, vehicle makers and oil marketing companies have to transit to the new norms by the same day, April 1, 2020. In Europe by contrast, oil firm made the switch two years in advance, said Raman. Maruti is also assessing the mix between diesel and petrol models, as the price gap between the two is expected to go up sharply after March 2020, from the current Rs 100,000 to Rs 250,000.