BS IV emission norms have been taken under implementation from 1st April and with this a list of restrictions have been imposed which is eventually forcing most of the car manufacturers in India to end producing a few of their products not complying with the new emission norms. To remind you we had informed you about Fiat Palio exiting Indian market and Maruti Suzuki phasing out Maruti 800 in 13 major cities and Omni as well.
Maruti also enjoyed appreciable sales with Ritz, EECO and A-star which was hardly expected and now with Maruti 800 leaving the camp, the company is planning to bring in a CNG variant for Alto, as coming with the Wagon-R. The CNG kit will be factory fitted and has been taken into consideration because of the wide popularity being gained by CNG vehicles now-a-days.
With increasing number of CNG vehicles more fuel stations will be needed and for that Maruti has been in talks with Gas Authority India Limited (GAIL) and Reliance India Limited (RIL) for making the availability of natural gas more convenient. Adding to above the brand is also planning to introduce CNG variants in every segment. Initially the CNG models will incur more cost but if efficiently utilized. will cost economical in the long run.
Chairman R C Bhargava said, “Our R&D people are working on developing a CNG vehicle which will have factory fitted kits. We are going ahead with the development but lot will depend on availability of the fuel across the country,”
According to an agreement between Maruti Suzuki and GAIL for a duration of 10 years, GAIL will provide 0.33 MMSCMD of R-LNG at the rate of $5.8 per mmBtu and surprisingly GAIL has already started supplying Natural Gas to Maruti’s Manesar plant. Most significant part of the deal was the enormous investment of Rs. 450 Crores leading to GAIL’s new Chainsa-Jhajjar-Hissar pipeline, purposely constructed for gas supply.
The company’s cost per vehicle has been considerably reduced by 0.04% of what was earlier and all the credit is to given to the new deal, eventually reducing cost of power generation at the plant which was running on diesel a bit previously.
Bhargava added “No, it will not happen. Earlier we were producing at higher cost by absorbing the higher production cost of power generation by diesel. The gas supplied by GAIL will be mainly be used for paint shop and power plant,”
Updated on 22 July 2010
Here are some Scoop Pictures of the new Alto due for launch in August 2010 –