New Delhi: Dispelling speculation that it will be forced to phase out its oldest model Maruti 800 (M800) due to stricter emission standards, by 2010, Maruti Suzuki India said it is working to make the model compliant with Bharat Stage IV norms.
“Work is on to make the M800 compliant with emission norms coming in by 2010. We are not phasing out the model,” Maruti Suzuki India Managing Executive (Office Engineering) I.V. Rao said.
Asked if the M800, which redefined personal transportation in India 25 years back, would sport a new engine, he replied in the negative.
“There are ways of making the engine compliant with stricter emission norms. Either you work on improving engine combustion or you put in a catalytic converter,” he said, without specifying which method the company was adopting for the M800 to comply with Bharat Stage IV norms, to be enforced by April 2010 in 13 mega cities.
As per the Auto Fuel Policy, the 13 mega cities, which have Bharat Stage III emission regulations, will meet Bharat Stage IV standards from April 2010 and the rest of the country will upgrade to Bharat Stage III regulations.
The M800, launched in 1983, has undergone many facelifts and has always been a subject of speculation of being phased out after its sales started dropping, and the arrival of models like the Zen and Alto.
This fiscal (April-Oct period) M800 sales have gone down by 18% at 32,093 units as against 39,142 units in the same period a year ago. The model’s sales declined by 26.13% during October at 3,307 as against 4,477 in the same month last year.