The country's adoption of new emissions regulations, similar to the Euro 6 setup, will see its leading automaker drop diesel engines from 2020.
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Maruti Suzuki, India's dominant car maker, will eliminate diesel engines from its passenger car range starting from April next year.

Maruti Suzuki chairman's R C Bhargava confirmed the move with Quartz.

He did leave a little bit of wiggle room, though, stating “if we find there is a market for diesel cars [after the new emissions rules take effect] we will develop it in a reasonable amount of time".

In order for India to meet its obligations under the Paris climate change accord and improve air quality in its major cities, the government of prime minister Narendra Modi decided in 2016 to jump from the current Bharat Stage IV emissions regulations straight to Stage VI.

Coming into effect from April 2020, the new stricter emissions code mandates an 80% reduction in particulate matter and an almost 70% drop in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions.

The sulphur content of the nation's fuel will also be reduced from 50 parts per million (ppm) to 10ppm.

According to reports, the changes required for most petrol engines to meet the new requirements are minor and will result in a slight price increase.

Diesel engines compliant with the new stricter standards, which are very similar to the Euro 6 regulations, are estimated to cost at least 80,000 rupees ($1650) more, putting them out of reach of many of the country's more price sensitive buyers.

Vehicles under 4.0 metres in length attract lower taxes, but packaging a diesel particulate filter into these cars is also said to be either difficult or impossible.

It will be interesting to see how the move affects Suzuki's sales in India, not to mention air quality. Suzuki dominates the Indian new car market, and is responsible for over 50% of all passenger car sales.