In the past year, April 2018 to March 2019, there were a total of 4,08,667 premium hatchbacks sold in the country. These included the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai i20, Ford Freestyle and the Volkswagen Polo. Each of these cars found a larger percentage of buyers opting for petrol variants over their diesel engine offerings.
Maruti Baleno premium hatchback, sold via NEXA dealerships had total of 2,12,330 units sold in the period April 2018 to March 2019. Of these, 89 percent of 1,88,120 units sold were petrol variants while diesel variants accounted for 11 percent or 24,219 units. The Baleno has been regularly outselling the Hyundai i20 and the gap in sales figures has been widening in recent times. The Baleno facelift was also launched in January 2019 bringing in better sales figures.
Hyundai Elite i20 sales of 1,40,225 units saw a total of 77 percent buyers opting for petrol variants with 1,08,375 units sold as against 31,850 diesel variants sold. Unlike other cars in the segment, Ford Freestyle had a more equitable distribution of demand between petrol and diesel variants.
Of the total 22,875 units of Ford Freestyle sold during the period in question, it was found that the ratio was 55:45 percent for petrol and diesel variants respectively. There were a total of 12,524 units of Ford Freestyle petrol variants sold as against 10,351 units of diesel variants.
Volkswagen Polo was at the fourth position on the list of best selling premium hatchbacks in FY2018-19. Sales stood at 18,146 units, with petrol variants commanding sales of 14,836 units and only 3,310 units of diesel variants sold during the period. Honda Jazz sales which stood at 15,091 units saw 13,479 petrol variants sold as against 1,612 units of diesel variants.
This increased demand for petrol engine variants over their diesel engine counterparts could be attributed to a lower price bracket coupled with a narrowing price difference between petrol and diesel fuels. This trend is likely to continue in the current financial year as well especially with new BS VI compliant engines being made mandatory which will increase prices of diesel variants much more as compared to their petrol offerings.
Honda and Ford have confirmed selling diesel engines post the BS VI emission norms coming into effect while Maruti Suzuki has confirmed that the company will stop selling diesel powered vehicles from April 2020 in view of higher costs to meet new emission standards. Maruti may sell diesel BS6 engine powered cars at a later stage, after seeing demand / market reaction post BS6 implementation.