Stringent BS-VI emission norms will come into effect by April 1, 2020 and sources within the VW Group have confirmed that EA189 diesel will not be upgraded to meet these norms.
Fiat too will discontinue its ubiquitous 1.3 Multijet diesel, which is currently under the hood of a host of cars. Producing a small diesel engine in BS-VI spec is proving quite uneconomical. Globally, VW is no longer investing in small diesels either.
Carmakers like Maruti, Hyundai, Tata and Mahindra, however, are looking at low cost solutions to develop small-capacity BS-VI diesels. VW’s Polo, Ameo and Vento, along with the Skoda Rapid, will run only on petrol or some form of hybrid power beyond 2020. Even the company’s future compact car range won’t feature a diesel engine.
The company’s diesel strategy for India beyond 2020 will be centred around the 2.0-litre EA288 diesel which powers cars from Audi, VW and Skoda brands. The company intends to localise the EA288 engine to bring down costs, but for now this plan is on hold. The company faced a drop in sales of models that use the EA288, and currently, volumes aren’t sufficient to make localisation of the engine viable.
The carmaker has no mainstream diesel engine alternative for the future, so it will most likely look at upgrading its petrol engine offerings for the Indian market.