Maruti Suzuki after a lot speculation finally plans to launch the diesel variant of the SX4 in India. Maruti which sells the petrol SX4, will now compete with other diesel sedans in the segment such as the Fiat Linea, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Verna, Chevrolet Optra and the newly launched Volkswagen Vento.
According to some sources the company is likely to use a higher powered version of the Fiat-sourced 75 HP 1.3 litre diesel engine it currently uses on the Swift and Ritz hatchbacks similar to Fiat Linea’s 1.3 litre 93 hp diesel engine. The SX4 diesel is currently undergoing extensive testing and should be launched by March 2011.
The reason why Maruti may be delaying the SX4 diesel launch is because it is facing a capacity constraint across its four production lines in Gurgaon and Manesar, which is leading to long waiting period for products such as the Swift and Swift Dzire.
The SX4 which sells around 2000 units per month could see higher sales with the launch of diesel variants. Honda which sells only the petrol variant of the City will re-think its strategy for India. The mid C-Segment will see more buzz in the coming days and more competition with Fiat, Ford, Chevrolet and Skoda lining up new products in this segment.