Despite the troubles of diesel in Europe, this type of automobile propulsion is quite popular in South East Asia.
There is, however, one brand that has yet to fully embrace the appeal of diesel power: Suzuki. Yes they have the new Super Carry which has a 0.8-liter turbo-diesel engine (also available in the Indian-spec Celerio), but apart from that everything else they have comes with a gasoline-powered engine.
Curious as to why the company has yet to introduce more diesel-powered models in the country, we sat down with Suzuki Philippines General Manager for Automobiles Keiichi Suzuki and asked exactly that.
“We understand the appeal of diesel in the Philippines, particularly in the SUV and crossover market. That is why we are currently studying whether we need to bring diesel technology to the Philippines. However, we are approaching this matter delicately as other countries besides the Philippines have already moved away from diesel,” said Suzuki.
He also added that while emerging countries are ripe for diesel technology, the rest of the world is turning away from diesel and has shifted instead to gasoline-hybrid and electric power as alternative means of powering automobiles. Moreover, other countries are offering incentives for hybrids which serve as a means to entice buyers to switch to hybrid instead of traditional internal combustion engines.
“We are hoping that the Philippine government will offer more incentives with regards to hybrid technology. That way, we will be able to study further about the possibility of bringing hybrid-powered cars to the country,” added Suzuki.
Speaking of hybrids, we also asked Suzuki-san (it's quite a common surname in Japan) if the new Ertiga will be available with a mild diesel-hybrid like its predecessor in the near future. He simply stated that there are no plans yet with regards of introducing yet another diesel-hybrid in the Ertiga. Currently, the 1.3-liter mild hybrid diesel is seeing use in the Indian-spec Ciaz which received its mid-cycle refresh last August 2018.
With no definitive answer yet, we'll have to wait and see if Suzuki Philippines will be able to bring in either diesel or hybrid powertrains to the country.