Diesel variants with low volumes are likely to be discontinued when updated BS6-RDE emission norms kick in from April next year
Demand for diesel variants continues to be high in case of SUVs and MUVs. This is even more relevant for models that have body-on-ladder-frame chassis. Carmakers like Mahindra, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia have high dependence on diesel variants. The numbers also reveal that variants with proper automatic transmission (torque convertor gearbox) have higher sales.
In comparison to SUVs/MUVs, demand for diesel variants is relatively low in case of hatchbacks and sedans. Barring a few exceptions, most of these variants could be discontinued due to upcoming BS6-RDE emission norms.
SUVs diesel sales (ladder frame)
SUVs like Bolero, MG Gloster and Alturas G4 have 100% of their sales from diesel variants. Bolero diesel variant is the highest selling across all segments in Jan-Sep period. Toyota Fortuner and Mahindra Scorpio are close at 97% and 96%, respectively. As petrol option has been introduced with Scorpio-N, overall diesel sales may come down a bit in the future. It could have numbers similar to Thar that has 75% of its sales from diesel variants.
SUV / Crossover diesel sales (monocoque)
SUV/crossovers with 100% contribution coming from diesel variants include Tata Harrier and Safari, Jeep Meridian and Citroen C5 Aircross. In percentage terms, other cars with high dependence on diesel include Hyundai Alcazar (73%), Hyundai Tucson (72%) and Mahindra XUV700 (66%).
Cars with a relatively balanced mix of diesel and petrol variants include Hyundai Creta (55% diesel), Kia Seltos (43%), Kia Sonet (45%), Mahindra XUV300 (51%), MG Hector (36%) and Jeep Compass (57%). One of the reasons for low sales numbers of Hector diesel could be due to unavailability of automatic option. Hector diesel is offered with only 6-speed manual transmission. A few days back, it was revealed that MG is not planning to launch an automatic option for Hector. This is a bit surprising as other SUVs like Harrier and Compass use the same 2.0-litre diesel motor and have both manual and automatic option.
SUVs with low diesel sales include Hyundai Venue (22%), Tata Nexon (16%) and Honda WR-V (11%). Honda is likely to discontinue the diesel option for WR-V when new-gen model is launched in India. It will be offered with petrol and petrol hybrid options. New-gen WR-V may continue with diesel option in overseas markets.
MUV / Sedan / Hatchback diesel sales
Toyota Innova tops the MUV list with diesel sales at 48,252 units in Jan-Sep 2022. Diesel variants contributed 95% of overall sales of Innova. While diesel sales are high, upcoming Toyota Innova Hycross could lose out on the diesel motor. In its place, a strong hybrid powertrain is expected. Diesel option for Innova may still be available for fleet segment. Kia Carnival and Mahindra Marazzo have 100% of their sales from diesel variants. Kia Carens is balanced out with 53% of sales coming from diesel variants.
Among sedans, Honda Amaze and City have single digit contribution from diesel variants at 6% each. Hyundai Verna seems to be an exception, as it has a healthy 41% sales from diesel variants. Diesel variants of hatchbacks are unlikely to continue beyond March 2023, as sales numbers are pretty low. Hyundai i20 and Tata Altroz have diesel variants contributing 11% each to overall sales.