Expressing apprehensions to his earlier statement in which he hoped that auto sales will improve in India post Lok Sabha elections, RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has warned that the same could take yet another hit. He believes that the US embargo on Iranian crude imports and new emission norms could play a spoilsport. "I would have had great confidence that auto demand will pick up after the Lok Sabha polls, but the US putting an embargo on Iranian oil exports and BS-6 emission norms are some of the factors which may hit auto sales going forward," Bhargava told reporters.
Maruti Suzuki has recently announced that it is going to discontinue diesel engines from its portfolio post-April 2020 i.e. after the implementation of the BS-6 emission regulations. Commenting on the same, Bhargava said "We need two to three months, say till June-end, to know how customers would actually behave. So, when we will meet for the first quarter results in July, we will have a clearer idea as to what is happening in the market,"
Depending upon the same, and the market demand, the carmaker will take a call on whether to re-introduce diesel engines in its portfolio. Even when it does, it will only bring back its all-new, in-house developed 1.5-litre unit. The decision to discontinue the 1.3-litre, Fiat-sourced oil-burner is permanent.
In order news, Maruti Suzuki has started upgrading its vehicle to meet the upcoming emission and crash test regulations. It has recently launched the 2019 iteration of the Alto hatchback which is not only powered by a BS-6 complaint petrol engine but also comes improved structural strength. In addition to this, the carmaker has also recently upgraded the Baleno's 1.2-litre petrol engine to meet BS-6 regulations. Furthermore, the carmaker has introduced a new 1.2-litre Dualjey petrol engine in the Baleno which comes with the automakers mild-hybrid SHVS technology.