INDIA - Maruti Is Investing Rs 1,200 Cr To Replace Engines Of Existing Models.

Maruti Suzuki, which makes every second car sold in India, is investing Rs 1,200 crore to replace engines of existing models with a

New light-weight fuel-efficient one that will conform to a new national emission standard to come in place next year.

“While all our new launches will be on the new engines, in the long term we plan to gradually replace our existing series of engines with the fuel efficient KB series engines,” said Maruti Suzuki India MD & CEO Shinzo Nakanishi.

Maruti’s popular models Alto, WagonR, Zen Estilo, Versa and Swift will be strapped with new engines by April 2010 when new Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) emissions comes into place.

These five cars account for a bulk of Maruti’s 7.22 lakh cars sold in India. The new fuel-efficient engine will also help Maruti to compete with new cars
Like Honda’s Jazz, Volkswagen’s Polo and Fiat’s Grande Punto which will be launched in the domestic market soon.

Maruti’s small car A-Star is BS IV complaint as it is exported to Europe, while Korean car maker Hyundai’s cars such as Santro, i10, i20, made in India are already BS IV compliant. Santro came strapped with the new engine when Hyundai relaunched it as Santro Xing.

The all-aluminum 1.0 liter engine may replace the current line of F-series engines fitted in the Alto, while the bigger 1.2 liter engine is likely to power the WagonR and Zen Estilo. This new engine may also power the Swift and the Versa in the near future, currently running on the G13 series. The installation of new engines could also see prices of these select models going up.

“We are working on different combinations. We will continue to have both F and KB series engines on different vehicles meeting the emission regulatory requirements. The KB series engines are highly fuel efficient and carry a higher cost then the current series of engines,” MSI executive officer (R&D) IV Rao said.

The company will not change its popular multihued diesel engine in Swift and DZire and the M-series engine in SX4 as both are capable of meeting BS IV emission norms.

The company has a staggered implementation plan to load the engines in different cars to meet the April 2010 emission norms deadline.