After selling the largest number of diesel cars in India, Maruti Suzuki no longer sells diesel cars – post the implementation of BS6 norms
Do diesel cars really provide more value as compared to their petrol counterparts? Diesel car users would certainly like to believe so, but India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki begs to differ. To prove its point, Maruti has launched a unique calculator tool that shows users why petrol cars may indeed be a better choice than diesel cars.
The reason for launching this one-of-its-kind petrol vs. diesel calculator tool is pretty obvious, as Maruti has chosen a petrol-only roadmap in BS6 era. Yes, we know that majority of the company’s sales was contributed by petrol variants, but diesel car sales did have a good enough chunk of the share.
For ref, in 2019, of the total sales, about 77.5% cars sold by Maruti were powered by petrol engine, while remaining 22.5% of them were powered by diesel engine. This when you seen in numbers, about 11.5 lakh cars sold by Maruti in 2019 were petrol powered and about 3.34 lakh cars were diesel powered.
Currently, it will be difficult to say how much of a difference it has actually made to Maruti sales, post the discontinuation of diesel cars. This is because car sales are anyways down, due to lockdown across the country. For now, discontinuing diesel units might not make any big difference to the company’s revenue. But in the long run, once car sales bounce back, it just might. For now, Maruti is trying to boost their petrol car sales, and have launched a petrol vs diesel car cost calculator.
One factor that does work in the favour of petrol car, is that there’s currently very little difference between petrol and diesel prices. If we take today’s petrol and diesel prices in Delhi, the difference is less than Rs 2. Earlier, diesel used to be much cheaper than petrol, which provided significant savings in running costs. This was one of the key reasons for choosing a diesel car. However, with petrol and diesel prices almost identical now, the running cost benefit has lost its importance.
Maruti’s petrol vs. diesel calculator tool essentially tries to show that it can take several years to derive the cost benefits associated with a diesel car. The price of a diesel car is usually higher than its petrol variant, which increases the cost of ownership. The traditional belief is that this additional cost can be recovered with the low running cost of diesel cars. However, as already explained above, that benefit has become quite insignificant.
The calculator also highlights that maintenance cost of diesel cars is higher than that of petrol variants. This again reduces the overall cost benefits associated with diesel cars. Diesel cars may still provide savings in the long run, but Maruti’s point is that such a long wait may not be worth it. The primary question is why anyone would continue using the same car for 10 years or more just to recover the higher cost of ownership of a diesel car.
The app can be found at the link here https://www.marutisuzuki.com/petrol-diesel-car-calculator. Do note that the app results have not been independently verified and results may differ depending on the user.
For different users, the results will be different. It depends on factors like kms driven per day, finance options availed for buying the car, etc. All these factors are taken into consideration by the Maruti petrol diesel calculator app. But the results are alarming. For example, in the case of Swift LXi petrol vs diesel case, the app says that it will take over 10 years for a customer to recover the higher cost invested in buying diesel car (keeping the avg driving per day at 50 kms).
Maruti may be right in advocating the use of petrol cars. They are not only cheaper, but are also cleaner as compared to diesel cars when it comes to emitting harmful gasses.