Hyundai diesel cars are still in demand despite the implementation of BS-VI emission norms and an overall anti-diesel sentiment in the Indian auto market. This comes at a time, when Hyundai‘s biggest rival and the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has decided to discontinue its diesel cars and adopt an all-petrol strategy earlier this year in April while meeting the stringent BS-VI emission norms.
Not only Maruti Suzuki, several other auto manufacturers including Tata Motors and Toyota Kirloskar Motor too emphasised on petrol models. Tata and Toyota discontinued their small capacity diesel engines, but retained bigger diesel powertrains for the SUVs and MPVs. The reason behind was cited as the small diesel cars would be more expensive due to the high development cost in the BS-VI era.
However, Hyundai walked a different path and decided to continue with diesel variants along with their petrol counterparts and this strategy seems to have paid off. As Tarun Garg, Director (Sales, Marketing and Service), Hyundai Motor India says the South Korean automaker, which is the second largest carmaker of India, is witnessing robust demand for diesel models.
According to Garg, the diesel customers won’t go away suddenly. Hence, the demand for diesel cars will continue as of now. Foreseeing this trend, Hyundai decided to continue with diesel cars in India. “India has been a very high volume diesel market for the last ten years. The customer wants fun of driving, they want fuel efficiency, they want high torque, so that is why they buy diesel trims,” Garg further explained.
According to Hyundai, close to 60% of Hyundai Creta customers still prefer diesel trims. Similarly, around 32%-33% Hyundai Venue customers are opting for diesel variants. On the other hand, around 30%-33% sales of the Hyundai Verna mid-size sedan are attributed to diesel trims.
As Hyundai further states, certain regions in India show strong demand for diesel cars. These include markets like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh etc.
Garg also said that Hyundai wants to offer the customer a wide range of choices for personal mobility. These include petrol, diesel, turbo, CNG variants. Currently, Hyundai’s diesel engine portfolio includes 1.2-litre, 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre units. The newly introduced i20 premium hatchback too comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine. Hyundai claims that around 50% of the total sales of i20 come from diesel variants.