Earlier this year, the largest carmaker of India shelved diesel variants of its top-selling models like Swift, Dzire, Ciaz and Ertiga
Maruti Suzuki, the biggest carmaker in India, discontinued all the diesel models in its portfolio ahead of the implementation of the BS6 emission norms. With this, it has become the only significant carmaker in the country that does not offer a diesel engine option on any of its models. Earlier, the automaker has indicated that it might re-introduce diesel engine options if the demand for diesel-powered cars rises in future. Recently, however, Mr Sashank Srivastava, Executive Director, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd said that it does not make economic logic to buy diesel-powered cars in this era.
In a recent interview with IANS, he said that paying Rs 1.25 to Rs 2 lakhs for a diesel vehicle, when the price of diesel is equal or more expensive than that of the petrol in many states of the country, does not make logic economically. He further added that the diesel was cheaper by Rs 32 compared to petrol about 7-8 years back. That's when the diesel cars contributed to around 60 per cent of the overall sales. Since then, the Indian government has allowed the free float of fuel rates and the difference between the price of the petrol and diesel fell to about Rs 7, while on the other hand, the share of diesel vehicles in the total sales fell to 28%.
Furthermore, he also said that in the last quarter of 2019, the share of diesel vehicles remained only 17% and the share of diesel models in total has been going down since then. In the entry-level car segment, the share of diesel models is only about 5%. Most of the diesel equipped cars are priced at about Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 2 lakh higher than the petrol counterparts. Since the prices of petrol and diesel are almost equal, most buyers are not interested to pay extra while buying a new car. Nevertheless, it must be noted here that buyers of high-end cars still opt for diesel powertrains but Maruti Suzuki doesn't offer any model in the higher segments of the market.