New Delhi: The country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, on Monday said it has stopped working on LPG models as it will roll out CNG variants of the entire range of its cars from early 2010, the first of which could be its highest selling model Alto.
“We have stopped working on LPG models, because customers prefer CNG cars. We will launch the first CNG variant next year,” Maruti Suzuki India chairman R.C. Bhargava said.
The company would start introducing ‘cleaner-fuel’ cars once the distribution network of CNG improves across the country, at first in the main cities, he added.
“We do not want our customers to wait in long queues and suffer because of lack of distribution network. We hope that the distribution network will strengthen by 2010 and at that time we will roll out the CNG cars,” Bhargava said.
Bhargava, however, declined to name the model which would hit the roads on the CNG mode first.
Meanwhile, sources said MSI is looking at launching the CNG version of Alto in 2010, followed by other cars.
“Alto is Maruti Suzuki’s highest selling model. It will make sense to roll out that model at first and the company is likely to do so,” a source said.
The company’s Maruti 800, Omni and WagonR models come with dual fuel (LPG-cum-petrol) variants. Earlier, MSI had also offered CNG fitted cars for some period, but later withdrew them. It has so far sold over two lakh vehicles fitted with alternative fuel technology.
MSI Managing Executive Officer (Engineering) I V Rao said the company would roll out one model in every segment, to begin with, by the end of this fiscal, but declined to give details.
“We will start launching the CNG models simultaneously with BS-IV compliant versions,” he added.
MSI’s hatchback Ritz, launched in May, was the first car in India to conform to the Bharat Stage-IV emission norms. The company is now working to make other cars BS-IV compliant.
India would implement BS-IV emission norms in 11 cities from the next year.