The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday reported 17.2 per cent decline in sales at 1,43,245 units in April. The company had sold 1,72,986 units in April last year, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said in a statement.
Domestic sales declined by 18.7 per cent at 1,34,068 units last month as against 1,64,978 units in the year-ago month, it added. Sales of mini cars comprising Alto were at 22,766 units as compared to 37,794 units in April last year, down 39.8 per cent.
Sales of compact segment, including models such as Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, were down 13.9 per cent at 72,146 units as against 83,834 units in April last year, the company said. Mid-sized sedan Ciaz sold 2,789 units as compared to 5,116 units in the same month a year ago.
Utility vehicles, including Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ertiga were up 5.9 per cent at 22,035 units as compared to 20,804 units in the year-ago month, MSI said. Exports in April were up by 14.6 per cent at 9,177 units as against 8,008 units in the corresponding month last year, the company said.
Recently, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) will discontinue sale of diesel cars in the country from April next year, coinciding with the transition of the automobile industry to stricter BS VI emission norms.
Some of the company’s models like Vitara Brezza and S-Cross currently come with a diesel engine option only. Others like Swift, Baleno, Dzire, Ciaz and Ertiga also have petrol versions in addition to the diesel trims. MSI has also decided to pull the plug on the diesel version of its light commercial vehicle Super Carry from next year. It would be only available in petrol/CNG version going ahead.
“From April 1, 2020, we will not be selling diesel cars,” MSI Chairman RC Bhargava told reporters here when asked to comment on the company’s plans regarding the diesel vehicles. He, however, added that if there is a demand for BS VI diesel cars the company might go ahead and develop a model to cater to that demand.
“From April 1, 2020, we will have no diesel car on sale. Depending on how customers react to BS VI diesel cars if we find there is a market of BS VI diesel cars, we will develop such a car within a reasonable period of time,” Bhargava said. The company recently launched its mid-sized sedan Ciaz with in-house developed BS IV compliant 1,500 cc diesel engine. Its other cars are powered by 1.3-litre diesel engine sourced from Fiat.
Bhargava said the company would not go below 1,500 cc diesel engine going ahead. “The only area which looks in our range of products possible is somewhere around 1,500 cc engine. So if we come back in diesel it will be that range and not lower than that because the price difference factor will make that model unaffordable,” he added.
Small diesel cars would see the maximum impact in terms of pricing with the coming of BS VI compliant engines. “Ever since the BS VI compliant engines have come (in Europe) diesel vehicle sales have been de-growing even there because the price difference between petrol and diesel has become much bigger. I don’t think the Indian market would be any different, here the buyers are even more price conscious,” Bhargava noted.
(With inputs from PTI)