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Old 16th February 2017, 17:07   #1
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Default Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

The Indian automotive market is currently showing an apparent inclination towards petrol powered cars, especially in the compact vehicle segment. This has resulted in a significant drop in the share of diesel vehicles sold in the country. To bring things in perspective, diesel car sales amounted to just 27% of the total passenger vehicles sold in India during the April-September period last year. This figure marks a significant drop from the 47% share that diesel cars enjoyed four years back.

This sudden change in customer preferences is a result of the narrowing gap between prices of petrol and diesel fuel. Popularity of diesel cars was mainly attributed to the relatively lower price tag of the fuel, thanks to various government subsidies applicable. It was thus easier for customers to offset the initial extra cost of a diesel vehicle by the fuel's higher efficiency and lower per-litre price.

However, since the fuel has now been deregulated, the difference between the prices of petrol and diesel has been brought down. This has made buying a diesel car redundant for people with moderate daily running.

Additionally, the Supreme Court's ban on diesel vehicles of more than 2.0-litre capacity in Delhi-NCR has left a significant impact on the market preferences. Though the ban was limited to the national capital and has even been lifted now, customers are a bit unsure about the future of diesel vehicles in the country. Moreover, the National Green Tribunal's order to deregister old diesel cars in Delhi has further resulted in a major blow to the popularity of the fuel option among small car buyers.

It must be noted that the UV segment is still dominated by diesel vehicles. The fact that diesel engines offer higher torque at lower rpms makes them a better choice for heavier vehicles. However, the change in customer preference is evident from the diesel-petrol share in this segment as well. While petrol accounted for just 3% of the total SUV sales in 2012-13, it has grown to 16% during the last year.

Market experts suggest that with BS-VI emission norms expected to be implemented from 2020, companies will need to make some comprehensive changes to ensure that their diesel engines comply with the new norms. This is expected to result in a significant hike in prices of diesel cars, which in turn is likely to reduce their popularity in the market even further.

Source: ET Auto

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Last edited by dZired : 16th February 2017 at 17:08.
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Old 16th February 2017, 17:30   #2
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

It's a welcome change and it is showing its effect slowly but steadily with the 320i 330i(GT) and Mercedes also bringing in petrols for suvs. Even Toyota. Petrol is the cleaner fuel and manufactures want to shy away from putting in a DPF and other bs6 norms. I feel we should be getting much better petrol engines soon. Even Maruti is bringing in the boosterjet 1L. Good times for petrolheads.
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Old 16th February 2017, 17:37   #3
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

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Originally Posted by dZired View Post

Moreover, the National Green Tribunal's order to deregister old diesel cars in Delhi has further resulted in a major blow to the popularity of the fuel option among small car buyers.
More than anything else this in itself IMO is one of the biggest factors. Resale is a very important factor in car purchase in India and with uncertainty around diesel cars, its leading to a lot of skepticism which eventually will hit the resale values. Now if there's an uncertainty if the car would be road-legal after 10 years, ofcourse people would try to play safe.

3-4 years back when no such NGT bans existed people used to go for diesels eyes closed as they were efficient plus more fun to drive compared to petrol counterparts. But now with the uncertainty around diesel powered cars, everyone is skeptical what would happen to their investments few years down the line

However I hope atleast now the manufacturers wake up and start offering better petrol engines. Specially the likes of Elite i20 and Jazz beg for a better heart

Last edited by SoumenD : 16th February 2017 at 17:59.
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Old 16th February 2017, 19:04   #4
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

For many models, petrol variants are quite dull when compared to its diesel counterparts. Examples:

Figo 1.2 petrol vs Figo 1.5 diesel
i20 1.2 petrol vs i20 1.4 diesel

If this issue is fixed in the future models, expect a further drop in diesel sales.
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Old 16th February 2017, 19:21   #5
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Default Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
For many models, petrol variants are quite dull when compared to its diesel counterparts. Examples:

Figo 1.2 petrol vs Figo 1.5 diesel
i20 1.2 petrol vs i20 1.4 diesel

If this issue is fixed in the future models, expect a further drop in diesel sales.

You can add polo 1.2 as well to the list as it also feels lacklustre in front of the 1.5.

Still it's a startling statistic IMO that the i20 petrol is doing the majority i20 sales since the Pre-Facelift elite days which means that the i20 clientele is not finicky about the power but good features in which the petrol i20 trumps others in the segment.

Last edited by Waspune : 16th February 2017 at 19:24.
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Old 16th February 2017, 19:21   #6
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

In a passenger vehicle, the only advantage of a diesel engine is higher fuel efficiency due to its energy dense nature. Other than that, petrol engines are much better than diesels. A turbo petrol will perform much better than a turbo diesel of same displacement and a NA petrol will perform much better than a NA diesel of same displacement.

A diesel engine doesnt stand a chance in front of a technologically equal petrol engine of same displacement. Diesel is better than petrol only in high torque, low hp applications- eg: a truck.

Last edited by deerhunter : 16th February 2017 at 19:25.
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Old 16th February 2017, 19:25   #7
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
For many models, petrol variants are quite dull when compared to its diesel counterparts.
Or the car models don't offer petrol engine variants, example S-Cross.
But, the shift in market preference towards petrol + BS VI norms will probably play on the minds of manufacturers and see more focus and launch of petrol engines before 2020.
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Old 16th February 2017, 19:35   #8
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
For many models, petrol variants are quite dull when compared to its diesel counterparts. Examples:

Figo 1.2 petrol vs Figo 1.5 diesel
i20 1.2 petrol vs i20 1.4 diesel

If this issue is fixed in the future models, expect a further drop in diesel sales.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waspune View Post
You can add polo 1.2 as well to the list as it also feels lacklustre in front of the 1.5.
You can add the Honda Jazz to this list.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Or the car models don't offer petrol engine variants, example S-Cross.
But, the shift in market preference towards petrol + BS VI norms will probably play on the minds of manufacturers and see more focus and launch of petrol engines before 2020.
Brezza also doesn't come in a petrol edition.
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Old 16th February 2017, 21:27   #9
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

Hmm...I find this trend surprising. I can't see the effects of so called deregulation when I visit the gas station. Petrol prices seem to be going higher and they keep the gap between the two fuels almost the same. Rs. 15 in my city and that is quite a bit.

As another FM has already said, I feel the shift is more due to the fear of government action, its baseless decisions on diesel fueled vehicles.

Truth be told, almost every diesel car on sale today is a better than their petrol variant.

On a recent road trip covering 850km, my buddy's Vento 1.6l Tdi used up just one tankful of gas. Had I taken my T Jet, I would have needed close to two full tanks of fuel. I drove the Vento and loved it. Heck; it had much better shove than my gas guzzling Fiat. Sure; it does not drive as good as my car and the diesel engine sure is audible at almost all rpm's. I have never really bothered about fuel economy. Off late, I have started to think about it a lot and not because I save money alone. I get almost double the range of an equivalent petrol plus I don't have to go easy on the gas pedal to achieve that. Off course, at the end of the day, it is down to what your heart desires and that for me is still a petrol engine.

It is left to be seen if this trend continues.
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Old 16th February 2017, 21:38   #10
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Hmm...I find this trend surprising. I can't see the effects of so called deregulation when I visit the gas station. Petrol prices seem to be going higher and they keep the gap between the two fuels almost the same. Rs. 15 in my city and that is quite a bit.

As another FM has already said, I feel the shift is more due to the fear of government action, its baseless decisions on diesel fueled vehicles.

Truth be told, almost every diesel car on sale today is a better than their petrol variant.

On a recent road trip covering 850km, my buddy's Vento 1.6l Tdi used up just one tankful of gas. Had I taken my T Jet, I would have needed close to two full tanks of fuel. I drove the Vento and loved it. Heck; it had much better shove than my gas guzzling Fiat. Sure; it does not drive as good as my car and the diesel engine sure is audible at almost all rpm's. I have never really bothered about fuel economy. Off late, I have started to think about it a lot and not because I save money alone. I get almost double the range of an equivalent petrol plus I don't have to go easy on the gas pedal to achieve that. Off course, at the end of the day, it is down to what your heart desires and that for me is still a petrol engine.

It is left to be seen if this trend continues.
I am kinda in your boat.

We have both diesels (Vento 1.6 TDi and Figo 1.4D) and regardless of the cost-benefit analysis that folks do when they buy such vehicles, it just "feels" better to pay less at the pump. And diesels have made remarkable strides over the years (not dissing on petrols here, btw), and I enjoy the drive in the Vento. It just pulls and pulls like a (diesel) freight train. The Figo OTOH is a clatter box (major irritant) but it's a city rider and has taken every single abuse thrown at it.

In future, I'd still go diesel unless I see a massive cut in petrol prices leveling them along with diesel. I may be an outlier and so I hope the trends do what is best for our environment and the economy.
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Old 16th February 2017, 21:46   #11
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

This is just clickbait, the numbers are obviously skewed in favour of petrol because you have the entry level hatches which make up the vast majority of car sales. The percentage of private diesel vehicles is still above 40 and all of them are more expensive than their petrol counterparts, barring the Octavia, all the diesels are better performers too.

There is no tilt towards diesel, anyone not buying an entry level car, isn't looking at petrol, except those people who buy a car for status reasons. The Honda city is that rare exception in the mass market where the petrol makes sense even if running it a little on the higher side. There is a reason rich folks buy diesel, the math is in favour.
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Old 16th February 2017, 21:49   #12
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

Good riddance. This world needs lesser coarse and hoarse sounding and polluting motors.

Diesel engines were famous for low end torque. Thanks to technological advancement, turbo petrols are much better alternative to diesels making high torque at lower rpms.

If you bring electric motor into equation then it blows away even turbo petrols by offering FULL power / Instantaneous power at the slightest throttle in the lowest of rpms.

Lower sales of diesels will do 2 things :
1. Better petrol engines in mainstream cars.
2. Introduction of competent electric vehicles.

And no matter if it's a Safari or a BMW, underneath they all still sound like a Matador.

As a petrolhead, I'm extremely happy at this news.

Last edited by The Brutailer : 16th February 2017 at 21:53.
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Old 16th February 2017, 22:27   #13
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

Also it's only a matter of time that diesels are curtailed by either the judiciary and/or the executive.

Discouraging diesels will slowly but surely improve air quality IF other pollution sources are also controlled. Given what NCR experienced in the 2016-17 winter months, someone (GoI, NCR, NGT) will HAVE to pass a draconian order.

Four of world's biggest cities to ban diesel cars from their centres
Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City will ban the most polluting cars and vans by 2025 to tackle air pollution

https://www.theguardian.com/environm...-their-centres

Last edited by itwasntme : 16th February 2017 at 22:29. Reason: Formatting
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Old 17th February 2017, 09:57   #14
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

We always have three cars for our usage, in previous years it used to be two diesels and one petrol which has now changed to two petrol and one diesel.
More than numbers and sale figures what is important is usage pattern.
Our diesel cars were often close to two lakh km in little over 3 years where as the petrol cars did a lakh km in about ten years.
NGT ban is one thing, and they went about it the wrong way, smaller diesels pollute more especially those below 400cc/cylinder. The ban should have been on smaller cars with diesel engines, and not one the 2Lit + cars.

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Old 17th February 2017, 10:29   #15
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Default Re: Diesel drops to merely 27% of total car sales in India

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There is a reason rich folks buy diesel, the math is in favour.
One more trivial but irritating problem that has no relation with the math. If you buy a petrol vehicle - not necessarily expensive - that is physically bigger than hatcbacks it is real pain to maneuver it inside the fuel stations (where petrol and diesel are sold through separate bunks) as you'll find yourself battling with numerous two-wheelers just to reach the bunk. I am coming from a diesel-only background and I found it very annoying when I drove a Honda City for refueling last month.

Contrary to this, refueling my diesels in the same station is just a quick in-and-out job since I don't have to negotiate with impatient 2-wheelers in the diesel bunk.

Last edited by sandeepmdas : 17th February 2017 at 10:39.
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