Saturday, July 15, 2006

Diesel SELLS!

An Indian [first time abroad] takes the flight from Chennai to London, land at the Heathrow, hire a car [asks for a diesel car] and heads to the gas station to top up the fuel levels. Fuel is loaded and he in for a surprise when it is time to pay for the fuel. Diesel costs the same as petrol!

Yes, India is the only country where there is more than 30% price differential between petrol and diesel, with diesel being lighter on the wallet. This scenario is expected to continue as long as the political gaming exists [ till armegedon?] in India. Diesel prices are perenially kept low in India due to the governmen't policy to support manufacturing, fishing, farming and the transportation business. The diesel price hike would impact all of the above business. Since these business' are important to a political party's vote bank, they are "shielded" from the global price increase and hence the price "differential" between petrol and diesel.

Now, this being the scenario, the smart ones will try to utilise the price differential to their advantage. Automobile industry clearly has the been the major gainer. A slew of disel motor based cars are likely to be introduced in 2007 - from a wallet friendly Santro to the luxury BMW and Audi will offer the diesel option.

Though the diesel cars have been in existence since the Ambassador days [Isuzu or Matador engines], their penetration in the Indian market was limited by the fact that the fuel cost savings are overshadowed by the high maintenance cost of the diesel cars. The diesel cars were also held back by their lower perfomance and rattling. But the public perception began to change with the Fiat UNO introduction. Mitsubishi Lancer clearly proved that Diesel can be as quiet as the petrol motor. Hyundai Acccent CRDi brought the diesel perfomance to the Indian car owner. With Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI, diesel has gained a new meaning - ripping performance on the road, a sprinting 0 - 100 kmph and wallet saving 20+ km/lit on the highways. Diesel is here to stay and longer at that.

All cars from Hyundai stable including the existing petrol only Santro, Getz and Sonata will offer the diesel option from 2007. Tata Indica, Indigo and Marina will offer more refined diesels - Marina with Dicor and Indica with the Fiat Multijet. Multijet will also power GM Chevy Aveo and the Fiat Panda. Swift will also offer Diesel option from 2007.

So if you are planning a car buy and if you do more than 10 to 15k km per year, wait for the diesel options to be offered [ofcouse, only if you are not looking at the Skoda Octavia!].


Abhinav Vinayakh Shankar said...

But the public perception began to change with Analyst Karthikeyan's Fiat UNO introduction scene in the movie - "Idhu Thaanda Analyst"!!

Anonymous said...

Hallo I absolutely adore your site. You have beautiful graphics I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

I find some information here.

Anonymous said...

Here are some latest links to sites where I found some information: or

Janefield said...

so glad for my diesel vandi! :P