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|26th May 2009, 20:11||#1|
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Maruti testing cars on CNG platform
Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Limited is testing its cars on the CNG platform before launching them commercially in the next 2-3 years.
“We have prepared a road map for launching our cars in the CNG format and a pilot project is already under way,” Maruti Suzuki chief general manager (marketing) Shashank Srivastava told Business Standard. However, he did not divulge the car models being tested by the company for CNG.
He said since CNG was available only in 11 Indian cities at present, such versions had so far not been launched by Maruti.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a more environment-friendly alternative to other fossil fuels, such as petrol or diesel.
“External CNG kits can be fitted in our cars, but when we launch our CNG models, it would be much cheaper due to the economies of scale,” he added.
Currently, no car maker has launched its CNG version in the Indian market, though Maruti 800 and Wagon R are available on the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) platform.
Srivastava said contrary to reports, the company would not discontinue its Maruti 800 brand. “Since, the present Maruti 800 does not conform to BS4 norms, which would come into force in 11 cities by April 2010, we are making some basic changes and upgrading its engine to make it BS4-complaint,” he said.
The 11 cities include the four metros, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kanpur and Agra. The current BS3 norms would continue to hold valid for other parts of the country till 2015.
Srivastava was in town to launch Ritz, a hatchback positioned at the premium-end of the compact car segment. Ritz is available in eight colours and five variants – three in petrol and two in diesel. The ex-showroom price in Lucknow varies from Rs 3.98 lakh to Rs 5.08 lakh
|26th May 2009, 23:32||#2|
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People are using aftermarket kits to run their cars on CNG. 2-3 years is too long a time period. With modern engines and ECU, its not possible to have the engine life reduced if one runs the car on CNG, so many people convert their cars into CNG.
But if the same thing came with manufacturer backed warranty ( fine print can be ignored ), it would be good for the customer.
But I think 2-3 years is the time by which the manufacturer will have an entire new series of engines ready.
Hope they are able to bring it faster. Their product must offer both LPG and CNG for all the cars. This will give then more sales.
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