Companies to focus on diesel based cars

Tuesday 23 August 2011, 12:23 PM by

The market surveys conducted in India reveal that mileage is the most crucial concern of an Indian buyer. Therefore, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL) has made sure that this aspect is taken into consideration while designing cars for Indians. Almost all the companies have announced that they will be manufacturing more diesel variants to meet customer expectations.

Hindustan Motors has decided to give a new face to the Ambassador, which is considered as the signature car of the Indian Government. However, in recent times, even they have shifted their attention to other options like the Maruti Suzuki SX4 and the Tata Manza, which have been designed to be a diesel variant. Nevertheless, the comprehensive retro model of Ambassador will undergo major changes. The 1.8 Litre petrol engine is ready to be redesigned, while a rail turbo diesel engine with a capacity of 1.5 litres will be the new feature of the Ambassador.

Companies to focus on diesel based cars |
Tata Indica Vista

Honda Siel, which is an all-petrol variant, is likely to achieve success according to the Honda. Jnaneswar Sen, Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales), Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), said, “Diesel is subsidised for a specific reason and it should be limited to that. If an effective mechanism is put in place, the choice of which fuel variant is to be opted for would be back in the hands of the consumer.” However, Honda has lost out on sales because it does not manufacture a diesel variant of its sedan and in recent months buyers have expressed interest in diesel-powered vehicles.

At present, many car manufacturers including Chevrolet and Toyota are all set to bring out the diesel versions of already existing cars in order to boost sales. New Maruti Swift, which has just been launched, is offering the choice of a diesel variant to attract more customers.

General Motors (GM), late last month launched a diesel variant of its small car, Beat. It stated that the company was in approval of having a diesel variant. “We have diesel models, but diesel has other advantages than simply being a cheaper fuel. Diesel technology today is cleaner and fuel efficiency of diesel vehicles is higher. We would rather let the consumer choose according to his requirements,” said P Balendran, Vice-President of GM India.

MSIL has introduced four of its 14 models as diesel variants, diesel cars make-up around 20% of the sales line-up, with sales chart being dominated by Swift Dzire and Swift. Apparently majority of the sales repeatedly has come from cars with petrol variants.

A senior executive of MSIL stated that there would be a difference between sales of petrol and diesel cars, but high fuel pricing is likely to affect a buyer's pocket, needless of what model is being opted for.

In India, out of total passenger automobile sales, the diesel vehicles make up one-third of those sales. Considering the petrol price hike in May by Rs. 5 a litre, it was observed that the sales coming from diesel variants climbed by 75% to 80%.

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