New Delhi: The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India is looking at CNG option to fill in the space vacated by small diesel engine cars in future, according to a senior company official. The company had in April this year announced that it would stop selling diesel cars from April 2020, when BS-VI is implemented in the domestic market, citing feasibility issues after cost escalation due to the new emission norms.
At the time of announcement around 23 per cent of all the units sold by the company in the domestic market were diesel cars. Presently, MSI offers its popular models Alto, AltoK10, Celerio, WagonR, Dzire, Ertiga in CNG option along with light commercial vehicle, Super Carry.
"For Maruti Suzuki in the future, CNG vehicles are likely to make up for the space vacated by small diesel engine cars," MIS Senior Executive Director (Engineering) C V Raman told PTI. "We believe that for a small car, CNG is a very good option. It is an alternative to oil consumption. We have the widest range of CNG cars for our customers. We are keen to promote green fuels," he further said.
Besides, the government's focus is also to expand the gas-based economy, Raman added. "There is a lot of emphasis on expanding CNG availability in the country," he added. In the April-July period this fiscal, MSI's domestic sales were at 4,74,487 units as against 6,17,990 units in the year-ago period, down 23.2 per cent. An estimated 30 lakh CNG vehicles are currently plying on the Indian roads at present with sales majorly in Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Cumulatively, MSI has sold over 5 lakh CNG cars so far. MSI has, however, kept its options open saying if there is demand for bigger diesel engine after BS-VI implementation, it will consider offering its consumers the same. Although, it is currently focussing only on making petrol and CNG engines BS-VI compliant. It is already offering seven of its models in petrol BS-VI engines.