With the Supreme Court fixing April 1, 2020, deadline for the sale of only BS-VI-compliant vehicles, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is working 'overtime' to make over 40 variants of powertrains across more than 15 models meet the stricter emission norms, according to a senior company official. The company has also reinforced manpower in its engineering and research and development in order to be able to meet the Bharat Stage (BS) VI norms for its fleet ahead of schedule.
"We are working very hard, we are working overtime. No other manufacturer has this kind of work which they have to do. We have the largest number of model portfolio and the largest number of powertrains," MSI Senior Executive Director C V Raman told PTI. He was responding to a query on how the Supreme Court's order last month to stop selling BS-IV vehicle across the country from April 1, 2020, has altered MSI's preparation for BS-VI emission norms.
Earlier in 2016, the Centre had announced that India would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms. It had stated that from April 1, 2020, only vehicles complying with the latest emission norms would be manufactured while giving three months to automobile firms for the transition to start selling BS-VI vehicles. However, citing air pollution issues, the apex court said no BS-IV vehicles would be allowed to be sold across the country from April 1, 2020.
Elaborating on the scale of work MSI is undertaking in order to meet the new stricter emission norm, Raman said, "We have more than 15 models and more than 40 variants of powertrains, which is a combination of engine and transmission. So, we will have to ensure that we have to do all of these ahead of schedule." When asked if MSI would be able to make all of its existing models meet BS-VI norm, he said, "We are working on it definitely and we will ensure that customers get BS-VI. We will try to do ahead of time."
On manpower reinforcement for the new emission norm, Raman said, "Yes, we have been continuously upgrading our people at our facilities both at Rohtak and at Gurgaon." He said the company had to deploy more people not to just meet the BS-VI norms but also other safety regulations which had come into effect this year.
While he did not specify the number of people deployed for the project, Raman said, "It is a substantial number, specially on the powertrain (for activities such as) engine design, calibration and testing." Moreover, additional manpower has been utilised in areas such as transmission design, quality assurance and body changes, he added.
Stating that BS-VI works are simultaneously happening at the company's R&D centre at Rohtak and Gurgaon facility along with Suzuki in Japan, Raman said the company is also working with suppliers such as Dentsu, Bosch and others. "There is no choice for us, we have to do it. For us, it is do or die," he said.