Maruti to launch diesel variants of SX4, Ritz

The success of diesel variants of Swift and DZire models, which have a waiting list of months, has propelled passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), which makes every second car sold in India, to introduce diesel engines in its other cars, a senior company official said.

The company’s hatchback Ritz, which will be launched next month, will have a diesel avatar sporting a 1.3-litre engine. “There is a good demand for diesel cars in the Indian market, and we are looking at the possibility of introducing more diesel engine options. But, we face some capacity constraints for expansion,” MSI managing director S Nakanishi said.

The car maker produces two lakh 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engines in India, some of which are exported to the parent Suzuki’s subsidiaries in Hungary. Mr Nakanishi declined to comment on which cars the company was considering to offer diesel variants.

“Diesel cars are becoming very popular as they are more fuel-efficient and cheaper to run. Both our Swift and DZire diesel variants outstrip the sales of their petrol siblings. We, currently, don’t manufacture any diesel engines other than the 1.3-litre multi-jet and sourcing a new engine may take some time,” another MSI official said.

Maruti’s parent company, Suzuki Motor Corporation, sells the 1.6-litre diesel variant of its SX4 sedan in Europe by sourcing the engines from Peugeot and Fiat. The same car in India is available in petrol variant only. The company also sells the 1.9-litre DDiS diesel variant of the Grant Vitara SUV in the UK. Maruti does not have diesel offerings in Alto, WagonR, Zen Estilo and the recently launched A-Star.

According to market experts, Maruti’s expansion of its diesel portfolio is aimed at halting the onslaught of its biggest rival — Hyundai — that plans to launch diesel variants of its small cars hyundai i10 and i20.

Source: Economic Times