With the upcoming emission norms all set to shake up the market, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has already declared that the company will discontinue all the diesel models in the market from April 2020, at least initially. Now the latest news comes from another Indian maker Tata Motors. The company has hinted that it could make the shift away from diesel engine offerings in the Indian market, at least for the smaller low priced models in the market. The models that will be affected by this decision are likely to be Tata Tiago and Tata Tigor. Higher priced models by the company could still see the presence of a diesel engine on the options. Sub-4-meter compact SUV options such as the Tata Nexon SUV may continue to be sold in the market with the same 1.5L engine that it is offered with today.
The company has still not stated whether the upcoming small cars from the company will get a diesel engine or not, but if the same happens, there are chances that the upcoming Tata Altroz premium hatchback from the company will come equipped with a 1.5L diesel unit borrowed from Nexon, and not the 1.1L unit borrowed from Tiago.
The upcoming safety emission norms that are set to be enforced in the country are forcing the carmakers to move away from smaller diesel engines. Making new smaller diesel engines or making the existing ones compliant to the upcoming BS-VI emission norms will take a lot of time and effort as well as significant investment on the part of the company. All this would mean extra costs for the customers as the margins in smaller cars are even lower. This in turn could mean that the customer moves away from diesel engines in smaller cars altogether and this is the reason why makers are reluctant to invest in developing smaller diesel engines compliant with upcoming BS-VI norms. These emission norms are set to kick in from April 2020.
The president of the passenger vehicles business unit of Tata Motors Mayank Pareek, has this to say about the decision to move away from smaller diesel engines,
We feel that low demand for entry- and mid-size diesel models will not justify the high costs involved in developing a new small capacity engine. Given that these high costs will ultimately have to be passed on to the end customer, the sale of diesel vehicles will logically see a decline in the industry.
However, other makers like Ford and Mahindra will offer diesel engines in the market, so will the South Korean maker Hyundai, save for smaller entry level models. Tata too will offer diesel engines in the market albeit with larger cars such as the Harrier, Cassini and Hexa, etc.