Maruti Suzuki has sold over 3 lakh BS-VI petrol vehicles since launch

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on November 20, 2019

A new road: Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) Maruti Suzuki India. (file photo)

Plans BS-VI petrol variants of Vitara Brezza and S-Cross before April 2020

The ground appears all set for a swift roll-out of the new Bharat Stage-6 emission norms from April 1, 2020, as the largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has reported encouraging trend towards adoption of BS-VI-compliant petrol cars - even if with a tad higher cost.

Ever since the launch of its first BS-VI model in April 2019, Maruti has reported a record sale of 3 lakh units across eight of its petrol models. Enthused by the response to its BS-VI models, Maruti has completely stopped production of BS-IV variants of all these eight models with inventory falling to almost nil.

"We have stopped producing BS-IV petrol cars for which we have an upgraded BS-VI version available. For us, the BS-IV stock is over and we are proud that we have sold more than 3 lakh cars of BS-VI petrol in the past six months starting April 2019. This is a very significant proof that BS-VI vehicles have got acceptance," said Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, MSIL. He added that BS-VI models are costlier by about Rs 8-10,000 depending on the model.

Srivastava also added that of the company's overall petrol car sales, BS-VI petrol car comprise more than 70 per cent. In October, MSIL sold a little less than a lakh BS-VI petrol vehicles. "We are very enthused by the response because of the figure we reached in record time," Srivastava told at a media briefing here.

BS-IV inventory

Commenting on the inventory, Srivastava stated that festive months around Diwali helped reduce the inventory pressure from 45 days to 30 days now. "We can't allow BS-IV stock to build up as we can't sell it post April 1. So we had started to introduce upgraded BS-VI models from April and by now we have total 8 models under BS-VI. Our BS-IV stock is almost over and we are now making only BS-VI vehicles in these eight models."

MSIL has the widest range of petrol cars under BS-VI category with eight of its existing brands including - Baleno, Alto 800, WagonR, Swift, Dzire, Ertiga, XL6 and S-Presso made only with BS-VI petrol engines.

For diesel variants, Srivastava reiterated company's decision to discontinue manufacturing of all diesel car models from April 1, 2020. The company also plans to introduce petrol variants of popular Vitara Brezza and S-Cross in the next quarter.

"Diesel Brezza and S-cross production will continue for a few months, but we will have to stop it before April 1. We plan to launch petrol variants of these diesel models by next quarter. But if we find that consumers still prefer/ larger vehicles in diesel, then we may look at developing a BS-6 diesel engine at a later stage. At present, Maruti will watch for this market trend," he added.

But Srivastava stated that even if the October numbers were encouraging, the company remains "cautiously optimistic" about near-term sales growth. "We need to wait and watch for the next few months if the worst is actually over or not."

Published on November 19, 2019

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