In the BSVI era, the price differential between the petrol and diesel variants will further widen making the former the preferred fuel choice for buyers
The new-age customers are largely preferring SUVs and crossovers over the traditional hatchbacks and sedans. The trend clearly reflects on the sales numbers and despite the sales crisis being faced by the automotive industry in 2019, the compact and mid-size SUV segments have been garnering impressive volumes.
It turns out petrol is the favourite choice of fuel for the SUV customers and traditionally it has not been the case. Taking September 2019 for instance, 35 per cent of all UVs retailed domestically were petrol-powered, as against less than half of that percentage during the same month last year.
Reports suggest that the penetration of petrol variants in sales will increase by a wider margin compared to previous years as BSVI emission regulations are coming into effect from April 2020. The gas-guzzlers incur higher costs for BSVI upgrades compared to petrol motors and thus it will be passed on to the customers inevitably.
The price difference between the respective variants of petrol and diesel is set to widen leading to customers wanting more of the former than the latter. The BSVI diesel models will approximately cost 15-20% more than the current versions. Maruti Suzuki’s Ertiga saw 56% of the total sales volume for petrol variants and the existing diesel units of the brand will be shelved before April 2020.
With the fuel prices of petrol and diesel seemingly look set to be on par at some point down the line, the disadvantage is certainly on the diesel’s side. Moreover, several manufacturers will stop offering diesel mills in the BSVI era while the smaller diesels of 1.2-litre and less engine capacity are set to be shown the exit doors in the volume segments as well.
SUVs are now being used for daily city commutes as well, making the use of petrol largely relevant for such type of buyers. The recently launched models like Kia Seltos and MG Hector have seen more customers buying the gasoline versions and the Hyundai Venue has witnessed 65% of its volumes coming from petrol variants.
The diesel engines of 1.5-litre capacity and above will stay as they are mostly sold in the premium segments.