Several models of Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Maruti Suzuki will not be moved to the BS VI standard and will be sold only till the BS IV stock gets exhausted, people aware of the development said.
At least 15 car models will be phased out by July due to lower-than-expected demand and huge costs involved in making them compliant with the upcoming safety and emission norms. Several models of Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Maruti Suzuki will not be moved to the BS VI standard and will be sold only till the BS IV stock gets exhausted, people aware of the development said. While Tata Motors will stop the production of its SUVs Safari and Sumo and smallest vehicle Nano, M&M is likely to pull the plug on its sedan Verito. Production of its electric vehicle E20, SUV Xylo and Nuvosport has already been stopped.
While new safety norms mandating airbags and anti-lock braking system (ABS) as standard equipment becomes effective by April 2019, the new emission standard (BS VI) will come into effect from April 2020. Sales of Tata Motors’ Safari and Sumo Grande together account for less than 500 units a month. As far as Nano is considered, it sold only 375 units during the April-December 2018 period. The company did not produce a single model in January. A Tata Motors spokesperson in an email response said, “No decision has been made yet in this regard. We are in a silent period at the moment and hence cannot share any further details”.
M&M sold just 542 units of E2O during the April-December 2018 period while Verito sales stood at 1,050 units. A Mahindra spokesperson said, “We have to meet BS-VI in all our products and hence have already made the decision on dropping some of our low volume products when we go to BS-VI”.
Recently Pawan Goenka, M&M managing director, said that a small number of low volume models will not see the shift to BS-VI owing to high development cost. “Unless there is a certain minimum volume that we see, M&M will not pay to go to BS-VI,” he had said.
Maruti Suzuki will discontinue the production of its off-roader Gypsy and minivan Omni as they have no scope of upgradation to meet the new crash tests norms. Omni was launched in 1984 and has been modified twice but surprisingly the company still manages to sell around 6,500 units a month.
Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava had earlier said, “Certain models cannot come on the safety parameters, including Omni”. Maruti will launch the updated variant of Alto and Eeco later this year in compliance with the new norms. Fiat Chrysler Auto India will not continue with its models Punto and Linea, which it sells less than 100 units a month. The company is also reportedly planning to shut down the Fiat brand in India latest by this year-end.
Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai India did not respond to the queries sent, while Fiat India could not be reached immediately. Among others, Honda Cars has already stopped production of its hatchback Brio, while Hyundai India has pulled the plug on its smallest car Eon.