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Old 4th February 2020, 12:00   #1
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Default BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

Now that most BS6 changes have been announced by various manufacturers - believe we should discuss the changes it can bring to the Indian taxi scene.

There will be a total disruption for sure since the taxi market favourites - Toyota Etios 1.4 D4D diesel and the Maruti Suzuki DZire 1.3 DDiS is confirmed to be discontinued now. Taxi operators, especially in Bangalore - used to swear by the Etios and Liva Twins, with the DZire being a distant second favourite.

So which all cars are likely to be the commercial favourites now? A few choices I could think of -

Honda Amaze Diesel?

Honda has updated the 1.5 diesel to BS6.

Amaze diesel starts at 7.56 lakhs now, which makes it one of the cheapest BS6 sedan options available in the market - at least till the updated Xcent is launched. The Honda also has a very practical and usable cabin with a huge boot as well, combined with the tractable nature of the diesel motor.

FE - 24.7 kmpl.

Hyundai Xcent / Aura?

Hyundai has transitioned its 1.2 Diesel to BS6 and is made available in the Aura sedan. As per an earlier news article, Hyundai will also most likely update the old Xcent with the new BS6 diesel engine and a second facelift - for the commercial market.

The base variants of the Aura diesel retailing at 7.73 lakhs ex-showroom could become a commercial favourite too?

Aura is also available with a BS6 compliant OE CNG option, and I expect the same options to be available for the updated Xcent as well.

FE - 25.35 kmpl

Ford Figo / Aspire BS6?

Though yet to be announced, it is very likely that the Ford twins, when announced, will have the cheapest diesel option in the market - considering the Ecosport BS6 diesel carried only a small premium of Rs 13,000/-

Currently, the Aspire Diesel carries a price tag of 6.99 lakhs whereas the Figo retails at 6.23 lakhs.

Ford has never been a taxi market favourite though!

TATA Altroz BS6?

TATA has discontinued their small diesels and also seem to be discontinuing the Zest - so that leaves the Altroz 1.5 Diesel BS6 as the prime contender. Although quite unlikely as TATA seems to be moving away from the commercial segment, and also the Altroz is a premium car at 6.99 lakhs for the base variant diesel.

Also what about MPVs? With the Ertiga diesel nowhere in sight - looks like Maruti has handed over the sales to Mahindra Marazzo on a silver platter.

Any other cars that are likely to become taxi market favourites?

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 4th February 2020 at 12:16.
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Old 4th February 2020, 12:08   #2
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

I think it will be the Hyundai Xcent / Aura as i have seen quite a few of them being used as cabs. Plus hyundais have a good build quality , decent interiors and a good ride quality. Plus they are reliable and have a low service cost.
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Old 4th February 2020, 12:18   #3
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

Would like to add Maruti's CNG portfolio, Maruti is betting big on CNG!

BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?-ms-cng.png
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Old 4th February 2020, 12:26   #4
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

It is not just the diesels. Bulk of Uber/Ola operate WagonR CNG in the Micro/Go/Mini format. The impact may not be as severe as these are based on the petrol version. On the next segment: it could be the DZire CNG and possibly the Aura that drivers will flock to.

With income levels from app-based platforms dipping and the prices set to be higher (even if marginally) for BS6 new cars, the taxi segment may not be a happy lot. I do feel that the commercial segment is huge enough for manufacturers to ignore; we might see more engines being BS6 compliant as the impact will be clear in the coming quarters.
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Old 4th February 2020, 12:34   #5
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelguy View Post
Maruti is betting big on CNG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
It is not just the diesels. Bulk of Uber/Ola operate WagonR CNG in the Micro/Go/Mini format.
Good point. Thanks.

However, the percentage share of CNG is less outside of the major cities, I believe? Diesels still have majority market share - especially down south.
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Old 4th February 2020, 13:00   #6
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
However, the percentage share of CNG is less outside of the major cities, I believe? Diesels still have majority market share - especially down south.
+1 to that, down south it is diesel that rules taxi market, CNG's presence is negligible both in private and taxi markets.

It always appears to me as if GOI is working in tandem with Maruti Suzuki to come up with its auto-industry related policies, if that is true, then Maruti can't go wrong with its CNG bet, we can see in future government pushing OMCs to establish more CNG outlets throughout the country alongside the EV push.
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Old 4th February 2020, 13:05   #7
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

I believe the small diesel segment will see a good portion shifting to the petrols as both buying and running costs would increase due to the BS6 norms.

So hatchbacks in the taxi segment would probably move to the petrol engines.
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Old 4th February 2020, 13:19   #8
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

I recently got dropped off in an Uber CNG Hyundai Grand i10 Prime in Bangalore (though I believe that this has now been discontinued as Hyundai is shifting focus only to the Xcent Prime for fleet sales).
It was a short ride and I had a casual chat with the driver. The car did not belong to him but belonged to a private individual who had invested in 5 CNG Hyundai Grand i10 Prime cars.
According to him, Bangalore has an okay-ish availability of CNG at the moment. The pumps are few and far in between but given the number of cars that currently ply on CNG, the pumps have no queues making filling CNG an easy affair. The fact that the car is dual-fuel, ie Petrol + CNG makes it easy to manage without any anxiety.
Personal observation, the car was much smoother than its diesel counterparts, so I'm all for CNG fleets.
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Old 4th February 2020, 13:32   #9
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

New Crysta's are not being preferred in the taxi space anymore-thanks to its uber premium pricing. I was in Goa a month back and Ertiga has eaten the MPV market and how! Not seeing new Marazzo's either. Even in Bangalore, I have started seeing yellow board Ertiga's, looks to be gaining momentum.

With Etios gone, will be interesting to see which car will take its place. Sub 4M options are cramped, and not much diesel options in C1 segment.

Last edited by PrideRed : 4th February 2020 at 13:35.
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Old 4th February 2020, 13:42   #10
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eshan Joshi View Post
I think it will be the Hyundai Xcent / Aura as i have seen quite a few of them being used as cabs. Plus hyundais have a good build quality , decent interiors and a good ride quality. Plus they are reliable and have a low service cost.
While Hyundais have good ride and build quality. They are in no way cheap to maintain. Most of the Hyundai cab drivers I've spoken to have said that most of their expenses go into maintaining the car and paying for spares.
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Old 4th February 2020, 14:20   #11
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

The commercial market will definitely miss the 1.3 MJD & 1.4 D4D for sure! Our regular taxi guy in Kerala is on his third Etios currently!

Expecting the small sedan crowd to lean more towards Hyundai (Xcent Tour version & Aura base version), rather than Honda & Ford. Perceptions of "High maintenance" are hard to change.

Tata would try to keep the Altroz away from the commercial market for as long as possible after the launch, but with plugs being pulled off both Zest & Bolt, we definitely will see lots of base version Altroz with yellow boards.

The other engine the commercial market is going to miss is the Renault 1.5 K9K! Though the Veritos have lost favour over time, there are drivers & fleet owners who swear by the reliability of that motor.
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Old 4th February 2020, 14:45   #12
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

Firstly agree that Etios and Dzire were the top two in fleet and taxi segment mostly in the diesel engine format. Replacing them directly is not only big shoes to fill in terms of volumes but also in terms of matching fleet owners expectations.

Have noticed lately a few developments on the road with respect to commercial segment-

1. Dzire has been launched in the both the Petrol and CNG versions across the country and have been seen in the Uber/Ola fleet lately. In this way Dzire may still regain lost ground with the exit of its oil burner by offering something that is as efficient to run and cheap to buy.

2. Have recently seen a spurt in Tata Zest AMT in the corporate shuttle/cab fleet (in Bangalore) and understood from people in the business that a good number were sold to some fleet operators recently. Does this mean Tata will retain or refit a BS6 version of the Zest only for the commercial segment given that Zest by itself is a very competent package especially in the automatic segment which is slowly catching up in this segment.

3. In terms of pure Diesel motors clearly the Xcent and Aspire seem to have a big vacuum available to be filled and given that Hyundai is already moving towards that space, it must be seen how Ford will play their cards (or just sleep through as usual) with such a lucrative segment in offer.

However must add that both these cars a quite cramped to seat 4 passengers and a full blown diesel sedan is the need of the hour which is nearly vacant given Etios exit and just forget for now that Nissan/ Renault or Mahindras will as usual not bite the bullet even though they have such offerings in their stable.

Lastly is there something up the sleeve with Kia, heard that they were planning to storm the commercial market with a very competent offering.

Last edited by girishglg : 4th February 2020 at 14:49.
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Old 4th February 2020, 18:27   #13
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

The 1.3 MJD being discontinued by Maruti will leave a huge vacuum. CNG is not the most viable solution in Hyderabad given its lower range. In the current scenario most cabs are being bought used at dirt cheap prices esp. with Ola's and Uber's special incentives to re-joinees. Interesting times ahead, I hope Ford makes the most of it as they have the first mover advantage with a BS6 engine.
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Old 4th February 2020, 18:46   #14
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

Looking at how everyone is moving to BS6 in Diesels, Maruti will definitely upgrade the 1.5 Diesel to BS6, I mean either that or end up losing a big chunk of the market share to competition.

Taxi segment which operates on long distances just won't buy a Petrol/CNG Ertiga, neither will a Petrol Dzire cut it.

Imagine with the magnanimous success of Dzire/Swift/Brezza, if you still discontinue and continue to remain in the market without diesels, its a big loss.
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Old 5th February 2020, 07:49   #15
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Default Re: BS6 impact on the Indian taxi scene?

As mentioned, in some cities, CNG is quite dominant among cabbies and their demand will only grow. Manufacturers who continue to offer a small diesel (e.g. Hyundai) will stand to gain market-share.

Maruti is known to fight tooth & nail for every single sale & I doubt the company will give up this segment easily. Once its BS6 1.5L diesel is ready, I wouldn't be surprised if they shoehorn it into the Dzire. Should be quite easy.
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