Maruti Suzuki announced today that they are offering a five year/one lakh kilometre warranty on their 1.3-litre diesel engine. We assume this was to assuage the buyers about the support Maruti will be giving with respect to the future of diesels. It can also be interpreted as Maruti wanting to increase its sales especially given the slump that was witnessed recently. So, the Maruti Swift, Dzire, Brezza and S-Cross get a free five year warranty if you buy one now. All these vehicles run the 1.3-litre motor but with varying power outputs. Both the SUVs get the higher-powered 90hp/200Nm motor while the Swift and Dzire have a 75hp/190Nm tune. Maruti has stopped offering this diesel engine with the Ciaz, Ignis and Ertiga. It is likely that the Baleno will follow suit as it is not mentioned in this list.
What does this mean for Maruti diesels?
Earlier this year, Maruti Suzuki had mentioned that they don't intend to continue with diesels after BS-VI comes in full force. This is because the aforementioned 1.3 will not meet the emission norms and smaller diesel engines will be priced significantly higher than now. This diesel is scheduled to be scrapped and Maruti wants to ensure that all the units are sold. However, at the same time the company has also got a back-up plan. This is the newly developed 1.5-litre diesel engine. You see this engine is currently in use in the Ertiga as well as Ciaz. It can be updated to meet BS-VI norms. In the future, it will likely power other cars in the company's portfolio. That is only if Maruti decides to continue with diesel engines post April 1, 2020.
At present, Maruti offers a 40,000km/two year warranty on all its products. Unfortunately, the 1.5-litre diesel still doesn't get the five year warranty. One will have to purchase the extended warranty separately. If Maruti was worried about the low sales, it could have made the five year warranty as a blanket. This in spite of the fact that the company doesn't even have to pay royalty to others for this engine.
A few dealers we spoke with, confirmed that the 1.5 diesel is here to stay. Prices of the vehicles powered by the 1.5-litre diesel will definitely be higher, however with respect to time these are expected to go down too. The same dealers also said that the warranty extension on certain products is a marketing gimmick. It could be one of the reasons why the 1.3 gets the offer on some cars only.
In other news, the auto manufacturers had a meeting today with the finance minister. It seems that the move to electrification could be a bit slower than expected. The government is willing to gradually increase the share of EVs. The auto sector contributes to the GDP in a significant fashion and it is after all a loss if the industry itself is in doldrums. It is likely that the proposed registration charge increase will also be delayed.