• Maruti Suzuki garners nearly 23% of its annual sales from diesel cars
  • The carmaker also today announced a hike in prices of some of its models

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest vehicle manufacturer, today announced that it will stop manufacturing diesel vehicles from April 1, 2020 when the new BS 6 emission norms will be introduced. The high cost of upgrading existing diesel engines to the BS 6 norms propelled the company to take such a decision.

The company will try to focus on compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid technology driven vehicles to compensate the vacuum created by the phasing-out of diesel vehicles.

Mint was the first to report on Feb 14, 2019 that Maruti was in talks with its parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation for discontinuation of diesel vehicles from 2020.

According to R C Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, from April next year the company will stop manufacturing diesel vehicles since substantially higher development cost will not make diesel a viable option for consumers.

“We have taken this decision so that in 2022 we are able to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency norms and higher share of CNG vehicles will help us comply with the norms. I hope the union government’s policies will help grow the market for CNG vehicles," added Bhargava.

Apart from that, the company reported a 4.6% year-on-year decline in net profit to 1,795 crore for the quarter ending March 31, 2018 as a result of high commodity and forex costs and increased discounts offered by the company to attract buyers since vehicle sales remain subdued.

The total vehicle sales of the company increased by just 0.4% year-on-year to 4,28,863 units while the net sales or revenue dropped by 0.7% year on year to 20,737.5 crore. The operating margins contracted by 300 basis points due to increase in commodity cost and discounts.

In the full year FY 19, the New Delhi-based company reported 2.9% decease in net profit to 7,500.6 crore while the revenues grew by just 6.3% to 8,3026.5 crore.

According to Ajay Seth, Maruti's executive director, Finance, overall increased discounts offered to customers and commodity costs had an adverse impact on the financials of the company in FY 19 and the company will cut costs in different part of its operations to stabilise the operating margins in FY 2020.

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Thiruvananthapuram: Authorities in coastal areas of Kerala have been put on high alert after an intelligence report said 15 Islamic State terrorists had set off from Sri Lanka for the Lakshadweep islands on boats, police sources said.

Coastal police stations and police chiefs have been alerted about suspicious vessels. The sources said, though, such alerts are "usual practice", this time they have a specific information about the number of terrorists.

The coastal police department said it has been on alert since May 23 after the intelligence input came from Sri Lanka.

"We have been on alert since the Sri Lankan attack. We have alerted fishing vessel owners and others venturing into the sea to be cautious," a coastal police department official told PTI.

After the serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, Kerala was put on alert, especially after NIA investigations revealed that IS operatives had planned attacks in the state.