Leading carmaker Maruti Suzuki is planning to either convert their diesel engine line in Gurugram to produce petrol engines or add an assembly line for petrol engines at its plant in Manesar, as per a media report citing three people directly aware of the development. Both the factory units are situated in Haryana. The development comes following the dry demand for diesel vehicles in India and the company's plans to aggressively tap the market for petrol, CNG, eco-friendly hybrid and electric vehicles.
According to sources, Maruti is also planning to stop using the 1.3-litre diesel engine for its cars, replacing it with a 1.5-litre diesel engine developed in-house by Suzuki. Maruti Suzuki's current diesel assembly line in Gurgaon has a capacity of approximately 170,000 engines per annum. The homegrown automaker also produces Fiat’s 1.3-litre diesel engine at its Manesar factory, which has an annual capacity of around 300,000 units.
According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, while petrol car's market share went up to 60% in FY18 from 47% in FY14, the share of diesel vehicles, on the other hand, fell to 40% from 53% which signifies the declining demand of diesel cars.
Similarly, big automakers like Groupe Renault SA and Daimler AG have significantly reduced the manufacturing of diesel engine vehicles in Europe as buyers are moving more towards petrol-powered, hybrid and electric vehicles. Maruti will become the first automaker in India to effect a significant cut in diesel car production after the BS VI norms are implemented in India.