Hyundai, Mahindra, Toyota and Ford were the only automakers who noted more demand for diesel variants over their petrol powered counterparts
When comparing passenger car sales in India in terms of petrol and diesel variants, it may be noted that most buyers in the country opt for petrol powered vehicles. This has always been the case. But since the implementation of BS6 norms, the difference has grown starkly.
The price gap between petrol and diesel fuels is narrowing and most cars in the budget segment are petrol powered. This has made some automakers divert their attention to petrol, mild hybrid and petrol hybrid products. It was also noted that buyers in the lower segments have shifted to petrol vehicles while those in the SUV and premium segments still show more preference towards diesel powered vehicles.
Another reason for this change is the fact that upgrade of diesel engines to comply with BS6 norms is a costly affair and with reduced sales in this segment, most automakers are even completely doing away with diesel options. With diesel cars priced upto Rs.2 lakhs over their petrol powered counterparts, and the added cost involved in upgrade to BS6 norms also made most automakers like Maruti Suzuki, Skoda, Renault, Nissan and VW strike off diesel cars from their lists. Other automakers such as Tata, Honda and Toyota only offer diesel engines on select model in a premium segment.
Petrol sales constitute 82 percent of total car sales
When taking into account sales of petrol versus diesel cars in the period April to July 2020, it may be seen from the attached table that petrol vehicle sales stood at 2,89,854 units as against 60,283 units of diesel cars sold.
At No. 1 was Maruti Suzuki India Limited which has exclusive petrol powered cars in its portfolio, noted total sales of 1,62,744 units in the April to July 2020 period. Maruti has even launched a TVC campaign, implying that those buying diesel cars today have outdated thinking.
Hyundai’s petrol car sales stood at 47,121 units as against 19,236 diesel cars sold while Tata Motors petrol car sales were at 25,216 units, significantly higher than 3,754 diesel powered cars sold in the same period.
When taking into account Hyundai and Kia sales, it may be seen that they sold 27,280 diesel cars during April to July 2020 amounting to 45 percent of all diesel vehicles sold during that period.
Mahindra sells more diesel cars
The automakers that saw more demand for their diesel offerings as against petrol models were Toyota and Ford. Toyota’s petrol sales versus their diesel number stood at 3,296 and 7,549 respectively while Ford sold 2,538 petrol cars, a significantly lower number when compared to 4,609 diesel cars sold.
At No. 6 on the list was Mahindra, with an SUV focused portfolio, which sold more diesel cars as compared to petrol models in India. Mahindra petrol sales stood at 9,260 units as against 13,341 diesel units sold in the April to July 2020 period. Honda Cars India saw total sales of 7,156 units during the April to July 2020 period out of which 5,810 units were petrol cars while diesel car sales stood at 1,346 units.
Lower down the order, Volkswagen petrol car sales stood at 4,801 units while Skoda and Nissan also saw petrol car sales at 2,220 units and 1,736 units respectively during the said period. These three automakers no longer have any diesel vehicles in their product portfolio. Jeep was at the bottom of the list with 350 units of petrol powered car sales as against 399 diesel cars sold.