March 26, 2012

Banking on the lower fuel price advantage, Diesel automobiles have surged ahead of petrol models in December last year for the first time. Below are some latest sales statistical & trends relating the growth of Diesel automobiles in India
  • Diesel Automobiles have captured more than 50% of the passenger automobiles market comprising cars, SUVs and utility vehicles.
  • Sales of petrol cars and other vehicles dipped by 15% between April 2011 and February 2012 and the demand for diesel vehicles went up by 35% during the same period.
  • For vehicles that have variants in both the fuels, the diesel version accounts for as much as 80% of model's sales in many cases
  • The rising demand for diesel vehicles in the last few months has resulted in massive waiting periods whereas petrol cars are readily available off the shelf with attractive discounts. 
  • Some of the brands which do not have a diesel variant have experienced heavy sales decline
    • Alto, the country's biggest seller, has seen sales volumes go down 11% in the period
    • Hyundai's i10 sales has fallen by 23%. 
    • WagonR, has seen sales volumes dip 11% 
    • Santro's sales numbers have dipped 14%. 
    • Honda City sales is down 27%.
  • Cars with diesel variants have seen a significant rise in sales. 
    • GM's Beat saw sales volumes go up 45% after the introduction of the diesel variant.
    • Volkswagen Polo's sales numbers are up 42%
    • Hyundai Verna's sales is up 136% 
    • Volkswagen Vento's sales is up 109%. 
    • Sales of Maruti Swift diesel went up 10% even as sales of the petrol version declined.
  • Diesel vehicles are not only more fuel efficient but also easier on the pocket due to the fuel's lower price against petrol (per litre price of diesel is Rs 40.91 in Delhi while for petrol it is Rs 65.64). The per kilometre running cost of a petrol car is nearly three times more than that of a diesel one and hence buyers are ready to shell out an average of Rs 1 lakh more to buy a diesel version.
  • All companies have started aligning their production to the new market scenario after the government did not slap an additional duty on diesel vehicles to make up for the high government subsidy that the fuel enjoys.
    • Maruti Suzuki has just announced a fresh Rs 1,700 crore investment for a new diesel engine plant that will have an annual capacity of 3 lakh units. This will add to the company's existing 4 lakh-unit diesel engine capacity. Maruti expects petrol car volumes to decline by 50,000 units next fiscal just as diesel volumes surge by 1.5 lakh units.
    • Hyundai currently imports diesel engines to strap on to models like i20 hatch and Verna sedan, but is expected to invest around Rs 500 crore for the diesel engine plant. 
    • Ford, GM and Volksawgen are all expanding diesel car production

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