Maruti, Hyundai, Tata petrol car models available at discounted rates

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The latest hike in petrol price has compelled the auto industry to focus on early introduction of as many diesel cars as possible. Thus, the auto giants like Maruti, Hyundai and Tata Motors are offering heavy discount on their petrol car models.

May 26, 2012: The car makers are looking forward to introduce their diesel vehicles as early as possible and are planning to sell their petrol cars by offering heavy discounts because the recent hike in petrol price has resulted in making India more diesel oriented market.

For the last few years, the wide disparity between the petrol and diesel prices has left the car consumers with no choice but opt for diesel vehicles. As a result, the sales of the diesel vehicle in India soared by 35% in the last fiscal year over the petrol vehicles that witnessed a downfall by 15% during the same period. The current hike in petrol price of over Rs. 7.50 per litre on Wednesday is expected to again boost the demand for diesel cars.

Hence, the carmakers are planning to manufacture more diesel car models and sell the existing petrol cars via different schemes, offers and campaigns. “There is a clear shift towards diesel cars. We are targeting it by increasing our internal diesel engine capacity and also outsourcing some engines from Italian car maker Fiat,” said Mr. Mayank Pareek, Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) of Maruti Suzuki. Thus, the company is pushing sales of the petrol cars. The largest car maker of India is offering discount of Rs. 30,000 on its Alto. The auto company is also offering good discount of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 on its other petrol car models.

Stepping ahead to support their customers, Hyundai also went on to introduce a – ‘petrol price lock assurance programme’ – on Thursday. This programme will insulate the customers of Hyundai from the new hike in fuel price for the coming 7 months. All those who will buy petrol car models of Eon, i10, i20, Santro, Accent and Verna till 31st of this month will be covered under this programme.

The car maker is also offering discount of up to Rs. 3,000 to customers falling under this programme. Marketing and Sales director at Hyundai Motor India, Mr. Arvind Saxena said that hike in petrol price of this magnitude is not good for the auto industry as well as the customers. “We need to soften the blow for our customers,” he added.

On the other hand, even Tata Motors has offered a discount of Rs. 10,000 on its petrol Nano and heavy discount of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000 on its Indica as well as Indigo petrol car models.

A decline in the share of the petrol powered cars has been witnessed in India since the government deregulated the pricing of the petrol in the year 2010. This also gave rise to a wide difference in the prices of the diesel and the petrol, making petrol 75% costlier than diesel. Today, the situation is such that the orders for nearly 2 lakh diesel cars are pending to be delivered with the average waiting period of a month, as per industry experts. Contrary to this, the experts say that the petrol car models are available off the shelf.

“Diesel is the biggest motivator to buy new cars in the current scenario,” Mr. Saxena said. Hyundai is planning to take final decision over setting up of a 400 crore greenfield diesel plant with the capacity of making 1.5 lakh units of engine every year for the Indian auto market. Currently, the South Korean auto company imports diesel engines from South Korea to power its i20 hatch and other bigger diesel cars.

Maruti Suzuki is also planning to establish a diesel engine manufacturing plant by the middle of 2013. This diesel engine manufacturing facility will be able to produce 1.5 lakh units of engines per year and the capacity of the will be doubled in the following year.
This growing trend for diesel cars has also directed the other car makers like Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen to expand their diesel car portfolio. “Diesel is expected to play a critical role to stimulate demand,” said Mr. Sandeep Singh, Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) at Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

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