As the prices of fuel continue to soar, many customers especially those belonging to the tier II and tier III towns and cities have begun looking for CNG car variants. Taking heed, the country’s largest passenger car producer, Maruti Suzuki, which produced five CNG models in the last year, is reportedly considering producing CNG variants for all their car models.
Maruti’s general manager of homologation environment planning, Alok Jaitley, said that they are working on producing CNG models, adding that they had already launched 5 CNG models last year and ultimately plan on offering all of their models in a CNG variant.
According to reports, Maruti currently has 11 models in market, which excludes its two CBU, the SUV Grand Vitara and their new Kizashi sedan. Maruti had already introduced CNG variants of their small cars, Estilo, WagonR and Alto as well as the SX4 sedan and the Eeco muti-utility vehicle, last July. CNG variants are responsible for nearly 10% of their net sales. These models are available in Delhi NCR, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
As the CNG stations network expands, the company plans on making their CNG variants available in other states also. Currently this network only covers around 28% of the market. According to Maruti’s managing executive officer-engineering, I V Rao, Gujarat is their major market for CNG vehicles. CNG vehicles are quite cheaper to operate compared to petrol cars, with CNG vehicles costing just a third of what petrol cars cost.
CNG costs only Rs. 29.30 per kg in comparison to petrol which is priced at Rs.62 per litre and diesel at Rs.40 per litre.