• 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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Barmer (Rajasthan), Sep 21: Three people, including a minor, were killed after Arjun awardee rally driver Gaurav Gill's car hit a motorcycle during a National Rally Championship race here on Saturday.

Gill, who became the first motorsport driver to be conferred the Arjuna award earlier this year, has sustained injuries in his ribs and is also facing respiratory problems due to the crash during the Maxperience Rally, Round 3 of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship (INRC).

He has been kept under observation but is learnt to be out of danger.

The deceased Narendra, his wife Pushpa and their young son Jitendra were killed on the spot. The Rally has been called off due to the incident.

"Gaurav's was the first car on Stage 1. He was driving at a speed of 145kmph while taking a sharp left turn and within 5m-10m, collided with the motorcycle, which was right on the middle of the road," Vamsi Merla, promoter of INRC, told PTI on Saturday.

"Gaurav tried his best to pull the brakes but because of the speed, but he was unable to do anything," he added.

The NRC promoter alleged that despite repeated warnings highlighting the closure of the road during competition, the villagers broke the barricades put in place.

"We had been giving warning about the road closure to the villagers for the past 15 days. There were field marshals but one of the deceased (Narendra) argued with them and when the marshals were looking away, the man broke the barricade and entered the track," he said.

"It was an unfortunate incident that took place despite all the safety measures being in place," J Prithiviraj, president of FMSCI said.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. The entire motorsports fraternity stands with them in their grief," he added.