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Recently the chairman of Maruti Suzuki India Limited announced that the company will discontinue all their diesel engine models in the line-up come April 2020. This sparked the speculations about other carmakers taking the same route and culling the diesel engine cars in their line-up due to upcoming emission norms. However, now US carmaker’s Indian arm Ford India has stated that the company will still maintain the diesel models of their cars in India even after the BS-VI emission norms kick in from April 2020. This means that the entire line-up of Ford India including Figo hatchback, the Freestyle crossover, the Aspire compact sedan, the EcoSport compact SUV and the Endeavour luxury SUV will still have diesel models in the market even after April 2020. In order to keep the diesel variants of these models in the market even when the new emission norms kick in, the US carmaker will have to tweak its line-up of 1.5 liter-4 cylinder TDCI, 2.2 liter-4 cylinder TDCI and 3.2 liter-5 cylinder TDCI engines and make them compliant with upcoming BS-VI norms.
When asked about the plans of the company once the stricter BS-VI norms kick in, the executive director of marketing, sales and service at Ford India, Vinay Raina said the following,
We will continue to offer the power of choice to consumers and will not stop diesel models. Ford will also be fully ready with its range of BS-VI compliant diesel powertrains ahead of April 2020 implementation. This shows the company’s commitment in offering what consumers want. For instance – Over 65 percent of the consumers today buy EcoSport diesel variants compared to petrol. Despite government lifting subsidies on diesel over the years, we have seen the demand for diesel stay and expect the same to continue in 2020 and beyond. Ford has launched its first CNG vehicle (Aspire) to support any possible shift from diesel in the time to come. Ford – with the introduction of EcoSport in 2013 – was among the first to bring petrol engines into the consideration set of UV buyers. To complement the diesel technology, we will continue to deepen the portfolio of petrol engines and offer more BS-VI compliant petrol engines options to our consumers.
The diesel lovers will heave a sigh of relief now that least one carmaker in the country has stated that they will continue making diesel engine cars in the future. Even as the largest car maker of India is moving away from diesel cars for the time being, it is good news for the diesel car enthusiasts that models like Ford Figo, Freestyle, Aspire, EcoSport and Endeavour will surely still come with diesel engines even after the strict BS-VI emission norms kick in.
It is not like the US carmaker will go ahead with the diesel plan alone, Ford is also looking at other fuel options in the market. The company is already offering CNG option on the Aspire in the market. It has also partnered with Mahindra to bring electric cars in the Indian market.