Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 21st January 2011, 12:17   #1
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,729
Thanked: 89,228 Times
Default Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

The diesel cars listed below charge a premium of anywhere between 70,000 to 100,000+ rupees over the petrol variants. It's obvious that the differential cost of production (diesel vs petrol engine) is well covered. Why then, do these manufacturers give step-motherly attitude to the diesels?

Swift Diesel: Want climate control or airbags? Sorry, not available. Even though the Swift petrol has a ZXI variant. Perhaps, Maruti thinks the life of a diesel car owner is less valuable?

Toyota Altis: Relative to the petrol Altis, the diesel loses 8 way powered driver seat adjustment, lumbar support (not even manual), rear windscreen sunshade, cruise control and the optional automatic transmission. Get this, the Altis D-4D J variant doesn't even get airbags! Can you imagine a manufacturer of Toyota's repute selling a 10 lakh rupee sedan without two measly airbags?

Nissan Micra: In a shocking, inexplicable move, Nissan has removed the passenger side airbag and ABS from the diesel. The 2nd glove box isn’t available either. This, despite the Micra diesel costing over Rs. 80,000 more than the top-end petrol, and using the old Logan 8 valve engine.

Hyundai i20: Want the side & curtain airbags? A sunroof? Sorry, you'll have to opt for the 1.2 petrol engine instead.

More? I'm sure there are additional cars that can be added to this list. Leave it up to the discussion to bring them forth.

Full marks to manufacturers such as Tata, VW, Ford, Fiat and gang who don't make diesel-heads feel short-changed and give us identical variants / equipment list. To the others, a HUGE thumbs down.

Last edited by GTO : 21st January 2011 at 12:18.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:22   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
narayan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2,772
Thanked: 1,165 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

Even the price difference is purely driven by the price difference of the FUEL in India. I dont think it is any more/less expensive to make a diesel engine vis a vis a Petrol one.

at the end of the day, when there is STRONG demand for a diesel variant of the same car due to price difference in the fuel, manufacturers are bound to do this...
narayan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:22   #3
Team-BHP Support
 
Jaggu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 17,748
Thanked: 7,466 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

Safety features are more important in diesel's i feel since they land up doing more running on the highways and more kms being clocked otherwise also. When i booked my swift d, i checked on the ABS version which was being offered. But the terrible timelines that MUL quoted made me change my mind. :(
Jaggu is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:25   #4
BHPian
 
A350XWB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: BLR/FRA/STR
Posts: 790
Thanked: 525 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Toyota Altis: Relative to the petrol Altis, the diesel loses 8 way powered driver seat adjustment, lumbar support (not even manual), rear windscreen sunshade, cruise control and the optional automatic transmission. Get this, the Altis D-4D J variant doesn't even get airbags! Can you imagine a manufacturer of Toyota's repute selling a 10 lakh rupee sedan without two measly airbags?
Even the petrol Altis J variant does not offer airbags! (always wondered why)
As for the original topic, I think it's because of demand/price. I remember that i20 was offered in the Asta (O) variant in diesel also. But I don't think there were many takers for it at that price point. I think if market demand (or government regulation) is there on safety (as this is the most commonly omitted feature), then definitely the companies will offer the same on the diesel variants also.
A350XWB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:32   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
ghodlur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Thane
Posts: 5,039
Thanked: 2,075 Times
Red face Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

I feel the cost of manufacturing the diesel engine is more than the petrol keeping into account the emission norms and the various statutory approvals needed. This itself make the cost of the Diesel model higher than the petrol variant. Add the safety components which escalates the cost. The manufacturers while wanting the conusmers to opt for the diesel variants keep the price in the affordable range minus the Air bags and ABS. Surely a snobbish attitude by the manufacturers.
ghodlur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:33   #6
BHPian
 
ashok_lat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Chennai
Posts: 300
Thanked: 48 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

This may be because the dont want to keep a distance in terms of sales(ie no of Petrol cars sold should be more or less equal to no of sale of Diesel cars). If the have a petrol Variant fully loaded vs there Diesel variant with stripped out features over petrol there may be people who will go for a petrol variant. For eg. People who wants a Maruti Swift with go for more features will go for Swift ZXI over VDI. I do think that this may be due to balance the load and there long waiting period. With the current Petrol prices people will opt for more diesel cars than Petrol ones even if its a base versions.

Last edited by ashok_lat : 21st January 2011 at 12:34.
ashok_lat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:34   #7
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,729
Thanked: 89,228 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
I dont think it is any more/less expensive to make a diesel engine vis a vis a Petrol one.
It is. Remember, all modern diesels have a turbo charger, while the petrols listed above are naturally-aspirated. Then, there's the intercooler, stronger metal (to cope with the higher compression rates) and so on. Nevertheless, the price differential amply covers the additional cost. With room to spare!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Safety features are more important in diesel's i feel since they land up doing more running on the highways and more kms being clocked otherwise also.
Absolutely. Even more reason why diesels ought to carry better safety equipment. Can you seriously justify the lack of ABS in the top-end Micra diesel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by A350XWB View Post
Even the petrol Altis J variant does not offer airbags!
Thanks for the correction.

Last edited by GTO : 21st January 2011 at 12:36.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:42   #8
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,706
Thanked: 928 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

Usually a diesel fan won't ever buy a petrol while the converse may be true. Which is why the mfg's are creaming it on diesels and making more money from customers.

Its tough to sell petrols in the market so the car has to be a seriously good proposition for it to sell. Which is why they doll it up with all the goodies.

A typical diesel buyer looks primarily at fuel economy and low cost of running and good resale value, so mfg's are cutting out the goodies and pocketing the moolah

But slowly this should change as more and more diesel variants come into the market. Eventually you will have diesels spec'd out like petrols and mfg's making do with lower margins

India is on a diesel run and mfg's are capitalising on this big time !

Last edited by DKG : 21st January 2011 at 12:44.
DKG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:44   #9
BHPian
 
Speed-Gladiator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bangalore, Tiruvalla
Posts: 79
Thanked: 11 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

"Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment ?"

The same question I was asking to my self for quite some time. I was eager to change from my Swift ZXi to Swift ZDi ( which is not there ) when MUL introduced the diesel engine. So still happly driving my Zxi.

I think adding these features like Airbags and other bells and Whistles will increase the price of the car to next segment. for eg the swift Vdi with Airbag + ABS + Climate control+rear wash and wiper+alloy + low pro tires will take the price equal to SX4 Vxi .then who will be the potential customers for the car?
Speed-Gladiator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:46   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,381
Thanked: 14,302 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

Same thing with auto-transmission. If you want diesel, you can't get auto-transmission. The only diesel automatics under 20L happen to be Scorpio, Cruze and Endeavour 4x4, and that is only because they don't have petrol variant.

Edit: Eddy pointed out that Verna comes with diesel AT, this is clearly an exception.

Last edited by Samurai : 21st January 2011 at 13:17.
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:53   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
theragingbull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,602
Thanked: 611 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

With the Skoda Laura it's exactly opposite. The 1.8 TSi is devoid of all feature comforts and comes in just one base variant. While the 2.0TDI gets auto transmission and what not!
theragingbull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 12:59   #12
BHPian
 
GForce1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 43
Thanked: 10 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

@GTO:

That's a good point put forth. I would also like to point out Skoda. In the case of the laura, the exact opposite is true. The Laura TSI doesn't get any bells & whistles otherwise present in the Laura TDI.

I think it's mostly to do with the perceived demand that manufacturers forecast at a particular price point. If they include everything in the swift VDI, they assume the price would jump so high that they do not see profitable levels of demand at that price point. AND they do not have the risk appetite to experiment with it either.
GForce1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 13:03   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bombay
Posts: 956
Thanked: 90 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

>>>

May I offer the perspective of the manufacturers who are in the dock here?
A rider : this is what I think their thinking goes, and I am aware that I may be all wrong. Plus, this is more relevant to the Toyotal Altis and to the Swift as compared to the other two cars mentioned by GTO.

Here goes :

1. Owners tend to choose diesels if they intend to run their cars more, due to the lower cost of diesel ( in most cases)
2. Owners who will drive less or will not use their cars for extensive inter-city/highway runs most likely will prefer petrols, other things being equal
3. Owners of private cars in India still have a thing about NVH levels in diesels, never mind the increasing sophistication and lowered NVH levels found in modern diesels that we diesel-heads in t-bhp know
4. Taxis generally run more than privately owned cars, and are expected to be driven with less care/ maintenance than privately owned cars; taxis are generally diesels or LPGs in India
5. Taxi owners care less about safety issues, especially as safety features come at a price, in an acutely cost sensitive market like India

Therefore, you will find safety features and some other features unavailable in the diesel variants.

But you have the Europeans as referred to by GTO (Fiat, VW et. al) who think differently. I also think that the Japanese ( all cars refereed to by GTO by a strange coincidence happen to be Japanese) are not as confident about their diesel engine technology as the Europeans and hence tend to focus less on them; it is only now that India is rising as a major auto market that they have been forced by circumstances to design and introduce diesel variants here.

I had an entirely different experience when I was out shopping for a car about two years ago. VW did not have petrol variants with all the features and had no petrol with the DSG; so I had no choice but to opt for an oil burner. Whenever I go to refuel, the men at the petrol pump always direct me to the petrol machine and I have to tell them that the car will have plain (sada) diesel. That says something about the NVH levels of modern diesels, although my diesel is a PD.

Now that I have driven a good oil burner and been smitten by the torque, I'll find it difficult to favour a petrol engine!

Regards, drive safe
issigonis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 13:04   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Banaglore
Posts: 262
Thanked: 291 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
Even the price difference is purely driven by the price difference of the FUEL in India. I dont think it is any more/less expensive to make a diesel engine vis a vis a Petrol one.

at the end of the day, when there is STRONG demand for a diesel variant of the same car due to price difference in the fuel, manufacturers are bound to do this...

This is not true. A diesel engine is usually more complex to make ( esp with common rail ) and requires components with can take higher stresses ( hence costlier ).

I guess manufacturers dont have high end variants for diesels since they may become too expensive for the market to accept.
JediKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st January 2011, 13:08   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
ph03n!x's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Madras
Posts: 1,705
Thanked: 118 Times
Default Re: Why do diesel engine variants get step-motherly treatment from manufacturers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Same thing with auto-transmission. If you want diesel, you can't get auto-transmission. The only diesel automatics under 20L happen to be Scorpio, Cruze and Endeavour 4x4, and that is only because they don't have petrol variant.
You missed the Verna AT (although with the current looks, I wouldn't count it too!).

With the modern turbo common rail mills, it makes sense to have ABS and at least front airbags - just in case a newbie gets taken by the turbo rush by surprise!!! When I wanted my Getz CRDi to be loaded with rear discs, ABS and airbags, along with rear wash / wipe - I was given a blank NO - all these features were there in global models though.

I think there should a rule / regulation making the essential security features mandatory.
ph03n!x is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Car driving lessons step by step vipulG Technical Stuff 21 16th August 2017 06:58
Palio Spare Parts Prices and TATA Service network step motherly treatment rao_battula Indian Car Dealerships 28 30th June 2014 12:36
Why dont car manufacturers adopt standard naming conventions for variants anujmishra The Indian Car Scene 30 11th February 2014 10:51
D series mini me head swap step by step!and turbos done.. nitroxx Modifications & Accessories 6 10th March 2007 22:49


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 06:22.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks