Car makers rush ahead to launch petrol models to secure market share
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Several car manufacturers like Hyundai, Volkswagen, Toyota and Renault have launched petrol models of their popular offerings in the Indian car market. This is worth noticing especially at a time when the car buyers have been showing a preference for diesel-run cars. According to the car makers, the bridging of the gap between petrol and diesel prices will result in preference for petrol cars which do not command any waiting period. Petrol cars are also cheaper compared to diesel cars and have lesser maintenance cost in the long run.
In addition, the new petrol powertrains offer better mileage at competitive prices. According to analysts, petrol cars are rational for city commuters who travel less than 1,000 km every month.
Director, Passenger Cars, Volkswagen India, Neeraj Garg, said, “Customers are putting off their buying decision because of the overall economic situation. However, it is only temporary and they will finally return to buying vehicles, including petrol cars.”
VW has recently launched the petrol model of its Jetta sedan at a price tag of Rs. 13.60 -15.07 lacs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). Other car makers are not lagging behind either; Toyota Kirloskar Motor has also released a limited-edition petrol model of its Corolla Altis which is priced at Rs. 11.48 lacs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Hyundai too joined the bandwagon to launch the petrol variant of its fluidic Sonata priced at Rs. 18-21 lacs. Renault too pulled the covers off its petrol model of its popular hatchback Pulse, which is priced at Rs. 4.25-5.55 lacs (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Managing Director (MD), Renault India, Marc Nassif, said, “The new Pulse petrol will cater to customers looking for a comfortable premium hatch with a competitive price tag.”
A decline of 2 per cent has been witnessed in the sales growth of the Indian car market in May 2012 from 30 per cent in 2010-11. This is being attributed to high lending rates, hike in fuel prices and inflation. The inclination of the buyers has shifted towards diesel-run cars in spite of them being costlier than the petrol-run cars. Diesel-run cars also command longer waiting period starting from 30 days owing to 40 per cent difference between the price of diesel and petrol.
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