• 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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Mumbai: A Mumbai court on Monday issued a bailable warrant against actor Kangana Ranaut after she failed to appear before it in connection with a defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar.

The Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court issued a summons to Ranaut on February 1, directing her to appear before it on March 1.

However, Ranaut failed to appear on Monday following which Magistrate R R Khan issued a bailable warrant against her and posted the matter for further hearing on March 26.

A lawyer in the case had earlier informed March 22 as the next date of hearing.

Ranaut's advocate Rizwan Siddiquee argued in the court that the summons and process were issued against Ranaut without following the procedure laid down in law and hence, were "bad in law".

Siddiquee said a petition would be filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the process issued by the magistrate.

Akhtar's advocate Vrinda Grover, however, argued that even if the process is being challenged, Ranaut has to appear before the court as directed, in the absence of any stay on the summons by a higher court.

"It is the accused's right to appeal against the order, or even challenge the proceedings, that no one can deny and no one can stop, not even this court. However, she (Ranaut) has failed to comply with the order of this court and there is also no stay obtained from a higher court,"the lawyer argued.

Grover then filed an application seeking a non- bailable warrant to be issued against the actor. This was opposed by Siddiquee.

Magistrate Khan observed that Ranaut was at the liberty to approach a higher court to challenge the process issued against her, but that would not absolve her from appearing before this court.

The court issued a bailable warrant against Ranaut and posted the matter for hearing on March 26.

Last month, the Mumbai police submitted a report to the court, saying an offence of defamation was made out against the actor.

Akhtar filed the complaint against Ranaut in November last year for allegedly making baseless and false statements against him which, according to him, damaged his reputation.

In his complaint, the lyricist claimed Ranaut had made defamatory comments against him in an interview by dragging his name while referring to a "coterie" existing in Bollywood, following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.

Akhtar in his plea claimed the baseless comments made by Ranaut had caused damage to his reputation.