• 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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New Delhi: Voting for Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases -- first on October 28, second on November 3 and the third on November 7 -- while counting of all votes will take place on November 10, the Election Commission announced on Friday.

Announcing the poll schedule for the 243-member Bihar assembly, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said these will be one of the biggest elections globally to be held during the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

He said the world has changed significantly since the last elections which were held for Delhi assembly and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a new normal in every aspect of our life.

He said the voting time will be extended by one hour and votes could be cast from 7 am till 6 pm, except for in the Left Wing Extremism-affect areas.

COVID-19 patients can vote in the last hour of the day, Arora said. He also said special protocols have been readied for voters who are COVID-positive patients.

The EC said 7 lakh hand sanitisers, 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh PPE kits, 6.7 lakh face shields and 23 lakh pairs of hand gloves have been arranged for Bihar polls.

Besides, postal ballot facility will be provided wherever required and requested. Social distancing norms will need to be followed at public gatherings during the poll campaign.

Arora further said anyone using social media for mischievous purposes, such as for flaring communal tension, during elections will have to face consequences, while hate speech will be also dealt with harshly by the Election Commission.

He said the number of phases for 243-member Bihar assembly polls has been reduced keeping in mind security arrangements and festive season, among other factors.

Voting for the first phase on October 28 will cover 71 assembly constituencies, while the second-phase voting on November 3 will cover 94 seats. The third phase of voting on November 7 will cover 78 assembly seats.

Counting of votes for all seats will take place on November 10.