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As oil prices spiral, Maruti, Hyundai prepare LPG bonanza

Keeping an imminent hike in petrol prices in mind, Maruti will launch an LPG variant of its flagship model- M800 this week, Hyundai too plans similar variants, reports Sumant Banerji.
Hindustan Times | By Sumant Banerji, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 03, 2008 10:12 PM IST

After market leader Maruti Suzuki Ltd., it's the turn of Hyundai Motor India Ltd. to go for LPG-run cars, hoping these would be in demand following an imminent hike in petrol prices.

While Maruti will launch an LPG variant of its flagship model- M800 this week, Hyundai plans similar variants of Santro, Getz and Accent soon. This follows Tata Motors' Indica V2 Xeta LPG, which was launched last month.

Although compressed natural gas is a relatively cheaper fuel, its limited reach and availability appear to have tilted the scale in favour of LPG. Moreover, an LPG kit costs less than half of what a consumer has to pay to fit his car with a CNG kit. Further LPG is fitted in a toroidal tank and that helps save on luggage space.

The LPG variants would cost around Rs 20,000-25,000 more than the petrol-run models and will be factory fitted.

"We will launch the LPG variant of Santro and Accent in the next two months. Eventually Getz Prime will also have an LPG variant but we do not have any plans of replicating this in the i10 as of now," said HMIL Managing Director H S Lheem. Hyundai is however planning to launch a 1.2 litre variant of the i10.

The company already offers a CNG variant of its flagship Santro.

Maruti is likely to name the new car Maruti 800 Duo in line with the existing LPG hatchback Wagon R Duo.

The 800, which is one of the oldest models on the roads today, carries a price tag of Rs 1.93 lakh for the standard variant and Rs 2.13 lakh for the AC version.

Earlier, country''s third largest car manufacturer Tata Motors launched the LPG variant of Indica on May 16. This dual fuel car reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 10 per cent and is available in two variants -- GLE and GLS priced at Rs. 3.27 lakh and Rs. 3.42 lakh respectively.

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