Indian auto major, Tata Motors is said to be contemplating to discontinue all its small diesel car models from its portfolio before the BSVI norms hit the country. Tata Motors is thinking in these lines, as the consumer demands for diesel cars, is predicted to get considerably low due to the impact of the upcoming Bharat Stage-VI (BS6) emission norms that are going to come to effect on 1st April 2020.
Tata Motor might as well take the decision of actually pulling the plug of its small diesel cars, as the increasing input cost (due to BSVI implementation) and the decreasing demands won’t make it feasible for the company to continue selling its small diesel models such as the entry-level Tiago hatchback diesel. A senior company official said that diesel cars will get more expensive. As, Tata Motors is known for its affordably priced vehicles, and thus, expensive small diesel cars won’t fit with the company’s general consumer appeal.
Many automakers in the country are thinking deeply about the correct action to be taken for their diesel models, while India’s car leader Maruti Suzuki has already announced that it is discontinuing all diesel models from its entire portfolio from 1 April 2020, which is when the new and much stricter BS-VI emission norms will come into effect.
At present, Tata Motors offers the Tiago hatchback powered with a 1L diesel motor and its compact sedan twin - the Tigor with a 1.05L motor. The Bolt hatch and its sedan sibling Zest come powered by a 1.3L diesel engine.
The BS-VI norms require the carmakers to do several modifications in their car engines, which will lead to increased production costs and higher price tags. This is specifically truer for the diesel engine powered cars, as the BSVI is in a way a method of reducing diesel cars in the country before totally banning them a few years down the line, as per market experts.
Mayank Pareek, the president of a passenger vehicle business at Tata Motors told the media that the company feels that the low demand for the entry-level and mid-sized diesel models will not justify the required high development costs for a new small capacity diesel engine. He added by saying that around 80% of the demands in these segments are for petrol models, thus an additional investment for the rest 20% doesn’t seem practical.
Tata Motors’ newer offerings like the Nexon subcompact SYV and Harrier compact premium SUV pack in a larger 1.5L and a 2L diesel engines, respectively. These SUVs are likely to get upgraded with BSVI compliant engines. Tata Motors currently sources the 2L diesel motor for the Harrier from Fiat.
The Bharat Stage emission standards are instituted by the Indian government in order to check the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles and curb the rising pollution. India will jump from the current BSIV to directly BSVI, due to the alarming pollution levels in the country.