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Maruti unveils five CNG models

Maruti Suzuki on Friday introduced CNG variants of five of its models, including one for its best-selling car, Alto. The small car major also launched CNG versions of Estilo, WagonR, Eeco and SX4.

The CNG versions of these cars, priced 15-18 per cent higher than the petrol variants, ranges between Rs 3.23 lakh and Rs 7.47 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

While the CNG version of the Alto is priced Rs 45,000 higher at Rs 3.23 lakh than the petrol variant, Maruti's mid-sized sedan SX4 has been priced Rs 55,000 more than the petrol version at Rs 7.47 lakh. The Estilo with alternate fuel option will come for Rs 4.05 lakh, the WagonR for Rs 4.11 lakh and Eeco for Rs 3.64 lakh

Managing Director and CEO, Shinzo Nakanishi said, "The development is significant on multiple counts. This is the first instance when a car manufacturer has developed and launched factory-fitted, technologically superior CNG engines in India." The CNG variants of the cars would also augur well for the environment, he added.

Initially, the CNG versions of the five models would be available in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Gujarat. An executive at the company informed, "There are about 650 CNG stations across the country. As and when the infrastructure is set up for distribution of CNG in other areas, we would introduce such cars in those places."

The move comes close on the back of the company's market share dipping below 50 per cent in this financial year. It has undertaken many steps, including launching a 1,000-cc version of the Alto and an automatic transmission variant of its A-Star hatchback, to regain the lost market share.

According to data available with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, Maruti Suzuki sold 282,488 units between April and July this year. This accounts for a 47.68 per cent share in the overall 592,405 units sold so far this year. In the year-ago period, MSI had a 53.13 per cent share of the 440,069 units car market, with sales of 233,811 units.

Earlier this month, Nakanishi had said with the launch of these five new CNG cars, the company expects to increase its market share to over 50 per cent again.

Source: Business Standard
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