Following the increase in petrol prices and customers showing a preference for diesel cars over the petrol versions, most automakers are changing their sales strategies and launch plans to give sales a decisive boost.
For example, Fiat India has kick-started a programme which offers the diesel version of the Fiat Grand Punto and Fiat Linea at the cost of their petrol versions.
The firm expects the initiative to provide a boost to the sagging sales in the coming months. Fiat is already running another promotional campaign which promises Fiat car buyers in July with three months of free fuel (with some riders), a considerable discount on insurance for the first year and some free servicing offers.
Read which makes a better car Petrol or diesel.
| A box of surprises|
- Fiat India offers diesel version of Grand Punto & Linea at the cost of petrol versions
- Fiat is running a promotional campaign promising car buyers 3 months of free fuel, discount on insurance for the first year and free servicing offers
- Volkswagen hiked price of its Vento diesel last month
- Firms like Toyota, Maruti Suzuki & General Motors are preponing their launch plans for diesel variants
Rajeev Kapoor, president and chief executive officer (CEO), Fiat
India, said, "With the rise in petrol prices, diesel cars make for an even more attractive proposition and Fiat has been leading the diesel revolution across the world and even in India." "With the 'Diesel at the price of Petrol' scheme, we plan to help more car owners have the joy of owning a Fiat diesel car," he added.Volkswagen
, which increased the price of its Vento diesel last month, offered promotional interest rates of 6.99 per cent for buyers of the petrol variant of Vento till June 30. It is reported to be mulling a similar offer to give sales a further boost.
Auto companies are not stopping at just offering discounts. They are rescheduling - read preponing - their launch plans for diesel variants. For example, Toyota is preponing the launch of the diesel variant of its hatchback Liva
to October. Earlier, the Japanese auto maker was planning to launch the car in December.
"It (the launch of the diesel variant) is not going to be a long wait. We are currently preponing its launch as demand for diesel (cars) is more. Moreover, the pricing of the car will be closer to make it more competitive in the segment," a senior official at Toyota Motors told Mail Today
Even Maruti Suzuki is working to roll out its new Swift model, with focus on the diesel variant. The diesel variant is expected to hit the roads by next month. "The demand for our diesel cars is very high and accounts of about 70 per cent of our sales.
We are examining expanding the production of diesel engines seeing the demand," Shashank Srivastava, chief general manager (marketing), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said.Buying a car? Here are best budget buys
Karl Slym, president and managing director, General Motors India, put the segmentation of the two variants in perspective. "If you look at the composition of the hatchback segment, 80 per cent sales are of diesel and 20 per cent of petrol (cars)," he pointed out.
General Motors is also speeding up the launch of the diesel version of its hatchback Beat. Arvind Saxena, director, marketing and sales, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, had more to add on the rising sales of diesel cars. "The high sales of diesel cars are not only because of the price difference but also because these engines are more efficient and cleaner," he pointed out.
Currently, Hyundai imports diesel engines from Korea for its popular i20 and Verna models. The company has said that it will build a new diesel engine plant, which will be ready for production by 2013.
Courtesy: Mail Today