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Old 20th October 2021, 16:18   #1
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Default Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Came across a very interesting review which was published recently stating that only 18 % of new cars sold in our country are diesels as opposed to 52% in the year 2012-2013. That is a radical change or shift in a market that loves their diesel cars in the entire spectrum from expensive to low budget cars. Attaching the link below:



The reasons for this shift has also been explained nicely, I think.

Last edited by moralfibre : 21st October 2021 at 01:23. Reason: Formating post.
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Old 21st October 2021, 08:47   #2
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

We're past "peak diesel" for sure and as we move forward, diesel options will become lesser and lesser. However, there are two ways of looking at this data:

- Diesel as a % of total car sales

- Diesel as a % of sales in models / segments where it is available as an option

In the former, it will be terribly low as small cars are predominantly petrol & because the country's biggest car maker doesn't have a single diesel on sale. Maruti alone controls half the market.

However, if you look at numbers in the latter, one will see that diesel still enjoys immense popularity in segments & models where it is available. Example = more than half of Creta sales are from the diesel. Plus, diesel is the preferred option for SUVs & MPVs.

Petrol & Diesel both cost over 100 bucks / liter which is frankly insane. With automatic gearboxes surging in popularity, an important consideration is that a Petrol AT in many 15+ lakh cars will give you 5 - 7 kmpl in the city, while a Diesel AT's FE will be 50 - 100% higher.
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Old 21st October 2021, 09:15   #3
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Fall in share of diesel car sales is due to one main reason - lack of diesel models in the entry and mid-segment cars. The cheapest diesel car available would cost around 10L OTR today.

Lack of options is due to several reasons - expensive R&D and technology to implement BS6 diesels making the cars unviable, operating conditions of a BS6 diesel doesn't allow extended city usage and lead to warranty issues for the OEMs. And these BS6 diesels aren't as efficient as their BS4 counterparts.

When it comes to actual market, artificially inflated fuel rates are beyond OEMs control and both fuel are priced almost at par. And public has learnt to live with it. Hence companies are selling petrol cars without giving much thought about FE. Diesels are sold as better performance alternatives now instead of their slightly lower running costs.

For bigger SUVs and MUVs, once we have better petrol engine options, share of petrol variants would increase further. Mahindra had stocked a big chunk of petrol powered XUV700s for initial launch, must have been result of their market survey and feedback from Thar sales.

PS: The running cost of my BS6 diesel is about Rs.2-2.5/km cheaper than the petrol options available for the same car, including the maintenance costs.

Last edited by ashis89 : 21st October 2021 at 09:34.
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Old 21st October 2021, 09:24   #4
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

I still cannot fathom the logic of people buying petrol SUVs, especially automatics!

Paying Rs 15-20 in fuel costs alone for every km driven, or these machines are simply white elephants that will hardly be used on a regular basis. Even CNG prices will shoot through the roof soon. I cannot understand how this makes any sort of economic sense!
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Old 21st October 2021, 09:27   #5
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Diesels are still popular in several sectors:

1. Light & Heavy Commercial Vehicles
2. SUVs (Passenger LMVs)
3. Marine
4. Railway Locomotives
5. Power Generation

Agreed, Diesel has had it's share of problems because of BS6.

However, the introduction of E20+ Ethanol-Blends may open up a 'similar' can of worms for Petrols as well.

I am expecting electrification to wipe out both Petrol & Diesel in Road Transport sector, in the next decade.

However, Diesel as a fuel source may continue to exist in other sectors (like Power generation, Railways etc.)
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Old 21st October 2021, 09:33   #6
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
expensive R&D and technology to implement BS6 diesels making the cars unviable, operating conditions of a BS6 diesel doesn't allow extended city usage and lead to warranty issues for the OEMs. BS6 diesels aren't as efficient as their BS4 counterparts.
+1 to this - would be the key reason IMO.

Lack of diesel options in the lower segments (and lower cost cars) would be an cause of the emission benchmarks (BS6 for now). Car manufacturers have to consider additional costs to cater to the more polluting diesel engines (especially the more poisonous Nitrogen oxides) which probably would mean a lower cost vehicle might not be that profitable to manufacture as compared to a petrol engine alternative. Higher priced sedans and SUVs have better margins so still makes sense to manufacture both engine options.

Globally the trend is similar - key example being the sagging Volkswagen diesel sales, especially after the VW Dieselgate/Emissiongate scandal of 2015. Diesels have taken a hit especially in Europe where they were highly popular before the scandal exposed the shady doings of VW (and a few others too).

The other main factor (for reduction of diesel sales) is the obvious reduction in differences in petrol-diesel prices. Back in 2012-13, the differences would be atleast ~25Rs (with petrol nearly 30% - 50% higher than diesel). Currently that difference has come down considerably to just about ~12% (in cities like Chennai the difference is less than 5%). Price differences between petrol and diesel car options haven't reduced in similar ratios, so why would one really opt for diesel if the petrol option is good enough! If today I had to purchase a brand new car, there would be hardly any reason for me to opt for a diesel engine over a petrol option.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 21st October 2021 at 09:37.
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Old 21st October 2021, 09:46   #7
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
The other main factor (for reduction of diesel sales) is the obvious reduction in differences in petrol-diesel prices. Back in 2012-13, the differences would be atleast ~25Rs (with petrol nearly 30% - 50% higher than diesel). Currently that difference has come down considerably to just about ~12% (in cities like Chennai the difference is less than 5%). Price differences between petrol and diesel car options haven't reduced in similar ratios, so why would one really opt for diesel if the petrol option is good enough! If today I had to purchase a brand new car, there would be hardly any reason for me to opt for a diesel engine over a petrol option.
This is true. However, the reduction in price gap means little to nothing if the fuel efficiency figures are very different.

The new age turbo petrols are tuned so high that it guzzles fuel like an Irish in a pub. They are too sensitive to inputs and the ARAI rated figures are probably the BEST case scenrio and certainly not the average.

If anyone is discounting diesels because the price gap is low, then they'll be in for a shock when they realize the actual fuel cost they end up spending on petrol has been higher.

In my opinion, the 17% figure is just not a right metric. Like GTO mentioned in his post, it should be measured as a % of cars sold where it is available as an option if we are to interpret this number as "do people still prefer diesels?". The 17% in itself has little value in terms of insight.
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Old 21st October 2021, 09:51   #8
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Diesels are still popular in several sectors:

1. Light & Heavy Commercial Vehicles
2. SUVs (Passenger LMVs)
3. Marine
4. Railway Locomotives
5. Power Generation

However, Diesel as a fuel source may continue to exist in other sectors (like Power generation, Railways etc.)
Diesel will continue in the above sectors. Except SUV's where we can see more petrols, the rest of the sectors above need the torque that only diesels can generate, for efficient operation.
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Old 21st October 2021, 13:34   #9
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
I still cannot fathom the logic of people buying petrol SUVs, especially automatics!

Paying Rs 15-20 in fuel costs alone for every km driven, or these machines are simply white elephants that will hardly be used on a regular basis. Even CNG prices will shoot through the roof soon. I cannot understand how this makes any sort of economic sense!
The latest prices I checked was two days before , then CNG was trading at 76.77 Rs over here in Maharashtra , still Rs 26 cheaper then Diesel but this difference is again closing fast .
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Old 21st October 2021, 13:40   #10
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
I still cannot fathom the logic of people buying petrol SUVs, especially automatics!

Paying Rs 15-20 in fuel costs alone for every km driven, or these machines are simply white elephants that will hardly be used on a regular basis. Even CNG prices will shoot through the roof soon. I cannot understand how this makes any sort of economic sense!
The customer base for the large automatic petrol SUV may not be that price-sensitive on the running costs. You can account for the running and maintenance cost of the vehicle in your account books if you are running a business. So, some economic sense is there.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 09:41   #11
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

+1
My average drive per year is somewhere around 10-11K, I have always favored Diesel over petrol even though mathematically there is no case from a cost perspective.
My first car was a Diesel Titanium Figo drove for almost 5 years with Odometer clocking 51K, average fuel efficiency some were around 17-18 for this entire 5 years.
Now I own a XZA+ Nexon recent trip gave a fuel efficiency of 25.8 (mostly highways), the joy of enjoying this fuel efficiency with still a price gap of 8-10rs per litre between diesel and petrol is something you cannot discount.
I cant wrap my head around the recent launches of Taigun and Kushaq a car/suv costing 20L+ on road for top trim no diesel variant and fuel efficiency probably around 15-16 if you are a sedated driver this is beyond me.
Good to see the TATAS, Hyundai's and M&M's sticking to the diesel portfolio, no wonder Creta and Nexon diesel are selling like hot cake in the market.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 09:51   #12
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Its a combination of factor that is driving drop of diesel,
1. High cost of upgradation of diesel mills to BS6 which led to many automakers discontinuing diesel
2. Govt. is also discouraging the diesel due to high emission levels, particularly NOx
3. Current price gap between petrol and diesel doesn't justify the incremental price one pays to acquire the diesel vehicle ( in most cases vehicle price difference between petrol and diesel is > 1.2 lac)
4. Though mid sized SUVs have a higher diesel share, most likely it will come down as upcoming emission norms will lead to diesel upgrading to more sophisticated after treatment systems leading to further cost increase for diesel vehicles

In my view, unless one has a high daily vehicle running, diesel doesn't make sense. From environment conservation perspective, its better to ditch diesels.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 10:13   #13
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

The best time to buy Diesel is behind us.

BS6 has put Diesel enignes on a ventilator, come 2023 it would die a natural death with the implementation of RTEMS requirement.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 10:22   #14
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

The market leaders and sub 10L cars are all providing petrol only engine in the A and B segment cars. It's from the CSUV segment onwards, the ratio is skewed towards diesel. Diesel is inherently economical to run and maintain and the Shoddy implementation to BS6 from BS4 made things worse for automakers as they couldn't cope with the sudden change(Except the big 3 Germans).

Ford tried a Jugaad and it backfired badly. They could have simply brought in the 1.5 EcoBlue and things would have been different.

I just can't imagine me owning a petrol car as it is a silent assassin in draining one's income due to the dismal fuel economy. Especially if one has a D segment car or a luxe brand, diesel makes sense here. Diesels give the best of both worlds, power and FE.
Though the difference in fuel prices is just 12 Rs, The tank range a diesel car gives is way better.

One example:

A petrol Polo MT gives 500-600km on a full tank.
The same model with a diesel engine will give you a minimum of 700kms, sometimes the number can go up to 850-900. Some folks claim even 1000kms on a full tank. No petrol vehicle can ever give you such figures.

Even in terms of engine longevity, diesels last 2x-3x than that of petrols. A testament would be the Toyota diesels as they run 6-7Lakh kilometers without a sweat.

Last edited by jithin23 : 22nd October 2021 at 10:26. Reason: Added content
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Old 22nd October 2021, 11:00   #15
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Default Re: Only 17% of cars sold in India are diesels now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thilak29 View Post
come 2023 it would die a natural death with the implementation of RTEMS requirement.
Could you please explain this a bit more? I’d like to understand this better as this is the time window I will be considering a new car and there is a reasonable chance it could be diesel as well.

What would happen to the diesel mills of the likes of Compass, Innova, Fortuner, XUV, Creta, Tucson etc? Some of these (like Tucson) are likely to bring out their next gen versions too

Same question for the bigger 2.0 litre diesels from the BMW, Mercedes or JLR stable. Are they going to go the “all petrol” route like Volvo and Audi did combined with hybrids and EVs?

Thank you.
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