Maruti Suzuki India will introduce new fuel variants of diesel, LPG and CNG in its existing crop of models, the company has revealed in its annual report circulated at its Annual General Meeting on September 4.
At present the country’s leading carmaker has 12 key car models – the Alto 800, Alto K10, Omni, Eeco, Ritz, Swift, Swift Dzire, Gypsy, WagonR, WagonR Stingray, Ertiga and Celerio. It has recently discontinued its SX4 sedan that will now be replaced by the new Ciaz sedan in early October. The concept Ciaz was earlier displayed at Auto Expo 2014 and will come powered by a 1.3-litre diesel as well as a 1.4-litre petrol.
At present, Maruti’s LPG stable is limited only to the Wagon R hatchback and the Omni van while the CNG option is available in at least half of its models. That presents an opportunity of fitting the other half spanning the Alto K10, Swift, Dzire, Gypsy, Ritz, WagonR Stingray and the Omni van with LPG in the future.
On the other hand, Fiat’s 1.3 Multijet diesel engine currently powers the Ertiga, Ritz, Swift, Dzire and the forthcoming Ciaz saloon. So this means that Maruti has a lot of catching up to do in strengthening further its LPG and diesel portfolio where the 1.3-litre Multijet engine predominates. The carmaker has plans to extend its diesel offerings with a start made with the development of the 800cc diesel that will initially power the LCV Carry with sources saying that it will also power the Celerio hatchback and maybe later extended to the Alto 800 and Wagon R models as well.
Interestingly, with the gap between petrol and diesel prices narrowing, the company’s share in the petrol segment has increased to 60.8 percent in 2013-14 from 58.4 percent in 2012-13. In the diesel segment, the decline in the carmakers sales was largely in tune with the industry’s de-growth and its share in this segment remained the same as last year at 25.5 percent.
During FY’14, industry sales in the domestic market fell 6 percent, recording the highest ever YoY decline in a decade. The diesel vehicle segment declined 13.5 percent during the year on account of the rise in diesel prices and expectations of further increase owing to decontrol. The share of diesel vehicles in total industry sales slipped from 58 percent in 2012-13 to 53 percent during the year. In turn, sales of petrol vehicles after dropping for two years in a row, turned positive and grew by 4 percent in 2013-14. Going by the declining crude prices internationally, 2014-15 is expected to tilt the fuel equation in favour of petrol compared to diesel for carmakers.