Small diesel cars, sedans and some SUVs will be discontinued in the Indian market by April 2020.

Tata Bolt Long Term Review
It is expected that diesel vehicles will be almost extinct in the segment below Rs. 10 lakhs

In the current market scenario, there is not much of a difference between the prices of petrol and diesel. With that said, we know that diesel vehicles contribute more towards pollution and the BS6 norms have made it difficult for manufacturers to update the small diesel engines to the emission norms. The cost of converting such vehicles will be in the range of Rs. 1.3 lakhs to Rs. 1.5 lakhs per unit, according to officials at Maruti Suzuki.

The share of diesel cars has already slipped down to about 20% of passenger vehicles in the nine months through December 2018. As the nation moves towards the cleaner BS6 engines, the automakers are going to axe several compact diesel cars from their portfolios. The drop in the sales of small diesel cars will rise when the second phase of the BS6 regulations come into effect in 2022 because the price of diesel vehicles will increase and the price arbitrage between diesel and petrol cars will also come down.

Following is a list of all the popular diesel engines that’ll be discontinued –

Fiat 1.3-litre MJD

Fiat’s 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine that powers cars like Maruti Suzuki’s Swift, Dzire, Baleno and Vitara Brezza, will soon go out of production by December this year. According to Maruti officials, the diesel-powered variants are already priced at a premium of Rs. 1-1.2 lakhs over the petrol version and with the BS6 updates, the difference in cost would rise to Rs. 2-2.5 lakhs. This may lead to customers to shift their preferences, bias towards petrol variants. Maruti Suzuki will also rely more on CNG and hybrid vehicles in the future.

The same engine that powers the Maruti cars, also powers Tata Motors’ small cars, the Bolt and the Zest. Officials at Tata Motors have stated that post BS6 it would be hard to imagine diesel cars priced below Rs. 10 lakhs co-existing with petrol vehicles in the same price range. Also, an increase of Rs. 1-1.5 lakhs in small diesel car segment, which on average costs about Rs. 5 lakhs, is far more telling in comparison to the same price increase for a car costing Rs 20 lakhs.

Mahindra 1.2-litre Engine

The 1.2-litre diesel engine from Mahindra that currently powers the KUV100, will also be discontinued by April 2020. Officials at Mahindra & Mahindra have said that small diesel cars will get eclipsed, but diesel will continue and large engines will be continued.

Volkswagen/Skoda 1.5-litre TDI

Volkswagen’s 1.5-litre diesel engine that powers the Polo, Vento, Ameo and Rapid will also be discontinued by April 2020. Sources within the VW Group have confirmed that EA189 diesel will not be upgraded to BS6 standards and hence production will stop with the implementation of the new norms.

Toyota 1.4-litre D-4D

The company is unlikely to upgrade its 1.4-litre diesel engine to meet BS6 nroms. Toyota officials have said that there will be more petrol engines in the passenger vehicle segment as compared to diesel, but attaining the right balance between technology and cost will be a major challenge. With electrification, petrol engines can be scaled-up and powertrain solutions like mild-hybrids will be a viable option. The cost of compliance will push diesel powertrains to top segment vehicles as the high cost of converting small diesel engines to BS6 will drive the customer preference to petrol powered variants of the same cars.

Small Diesel Cars

– Turbo petrol engines may replace diesel to meet the demand for more power
– The cost of a BS6 compatible small diesel engine can raise the cost by 17-20%
– Small diesel cars will face a drop in sales as the price of the vehicles would increase

Mahindra KUV100 Test Drive Review
Diesel vehicle specialists M&M and Tata Motors are working on a range of petrol engines

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