Just a few months ago, Maruti was the largest seller of diesel cars in India
Having ditched diesel engined models completely after the implementation of BS6 emission norms, Maruti Suzuki has launched a new ad campaign on traditional media (TV and radio) to promote its petrol-only lineup. A series of short ads attempts to address the ‘kitna deti hai?‘ audience with a counter question – ‘Apne calculate kiya kya?‘.
Maruti Suzuki’s new found pro-petrol stance
The new series of ads call out diesel buyers for their outdated thinking (purani soch) when it comes to selecting their new car’s fuel type. It encourages the prospective customers to first to perform a cost-benefit analysis of petrol and diesel cars based on daily usage before making a final decision. The ad ends by reiterating the overall advantage of petrol cars.
‘Apne Calculate Kiya Kya‘ campaign is supported by an online petrol-diesel-car cost calculator which compares the cost of petrol Maruti Suzuki models with the price of a diesel car (value can be entered by the customer). The calculator then asks you for your average daily usage in Km and if you plan to acquire a loan for the car. Finally, the website tells you how long it would take for you to recover the additional investment associated with a diesel car as per your usage. Take a look at Maruti’s new TVC campaign below.
Why Promote Petrol Now
While all this is well and good, we wonder what millions of Maruti Suzuki’s existing diesel car owners will make of this ad campaign which basically implies diesel is for unintelligent people (watch the ad again if you disagree). Even today, most number of diesel cars on the road in India are from Maruti.
Let’s face it, not so long ago, Maruti Suzuki had been happily peddling diesel cars, highlighting their fuel efficiency and performance. The 1.3-liter DDiS diesel engine which was sourced from FCA powered a significant number of cars sold by Maruti until 2019. For example, the Swift, Baleno, Ertiga, Ciaz, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza relied heavily on this diesel engine. In fact, the last two were available only with diesel engine.
Sure, the rising fuel costs and price hike of diesel engines associated with BS6 emission updates rob some of diesel passenger cars’ appeal but, the point is, the cost-benefit equation between these two fuel types did not change drastically after Maruti decided to ditch diesel. It has always been like this but Maruti Suzuki did absolutely nothing to influence the customers’ fuel choice as long as it was in its favour.
That said, from the customers’ point of view, it is wise to decide on the fuel-type based on the simple yet useful cost-benefit analysis by taking into account average daily usage, price difference between petrol and diesel, and interest rate.