Well ahead of the deadline, Maruti Suzuki was the first brand to initiate BS6 cars on our roads and out of 3 lakh vehicles, 1 lakh were sold in the festive month of October alone.
Maruti Suzuki was one of the first brands in India to have geared up for the BS6 emission norms way before the deadline. The BS6 emission norms become effective from April 2020, but Maruti Suzuki launched their one of their first BS6 cars seven months ago from now. Now, the company has announced that they have sold 3 lakh vehicles which are already compliant with the emission standard. Out of these, as many as one lakh vehicles were sold in the festive month of October alone. In addition, the company also announced that its popular Nexa offering, the Baleno hatchback, has amassed cumulative sales of over 6.5 lakh units.
The 3 lakh BS6 vehicle mark is an example of how the initiative of India’s largest car manufacturer can accelerate the adoption of new emission norms. Maruti Suzuki first introduced the BS6 engines in two of their entry level cars and since then, have been slowly upgrading their entire lineup. Of course, all new cars launched this year have already come with BS6 engines. However, the fate of Maruti’s diesel engines is still unknown. Maruti have said that the cost of updation of their diesel engines would put their cars in a price disadvantage in their respective segments.
The Executive Director of Management and Sales, Shashank Srivastava, said, “Initially, there was some confusion in the minds of the consumers regarding the transition from BS4 to BS6. To provide clarity, we rolled out several awareness initiatives to communicate the advantages of adopting BS6 technology.” The confusion regarding BS6 vehicles also contributed to the automotive slump this year. Maruti has dealt with the issue by offering only BS6-spec petrol cars for all the updated models.
Maruti’s sale of 6.5 lakh Balenos really shows its dominance in the market. It was Maruti’s first premium hatchback to take on the likes of the Hyundai i20 and the Honda Jazz. The Baleno comes with two engines options. There’s a 1.2 liter petrol engine with 83 hp and 115 Nm of torque and then there’s the fiat sourced 1.3-litre DDiS diesel motor which puts out 75 hp and 190 Nm of torque.
Maruti also introduced the mild-hybrid system in the Baleno – the Baleno Smart Hybrid – in January this year. It pairs a starter-generator with a lithium ion battery. With Idle Start Stop (ISS), the Baleno turns its engine off every time you come to a stop. Available only with the petrol engine, the system improves peak power by 7hp and also improves fuel economy to a diesel-matching 23.87kmpl. The sales landmark that Maruti has acheived really speaks of the company’s exemplary sales, service, and marketing strategy. With them having decided to discontinue diesel engines, will we see more hybrid cars from them? Well, time will tell.