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Petrol cars on the downswing

Petrol cars have steadily dropped in the pecking order in the first half of this year as costlier diesel counterparts surged past, thanks to petrol prices going through the roof.

autos Updated: Jul 09, 2012 23:03 IST
Sumant Banerji

Petrol cars have steadily dropped in the pecking order in the first half of this year as costlier diesel counterparts surged past, thanks to petrol prices going through the roof.

Tata Nano was the only petrol car in the top 10 to register any growth in sales as bestsellers such as Alto, Wagon R and i10 lost heavily. The i10 and Wagon R were the second and third-largest selling cars in the first half of last year but have been replaced by Swift and Dzire this year. The Hyundai car, with a 35% dip in sales, has slipped to an unfamiliar number 7 while Wagon R is at number 4.

The i10’s fall was partly compensated by the Eon, Hyundai’s latest launch, that debuted just ahead of its stablemate at number 6. At over 52,000 units, Eon was the largest-selling Hyundai car in India though it was way short of its target of 72,000 units over a six-month period. With no diesel option in both these cars, it only highlights how unpopular petrol cars have become.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/7/10-07-biz-01.jpg

The Swift, which had briefly in April, overtaken the Alto to become the largest-selling car in the country, looks set to emerge as the only second car with sales of over 2 lakh units this year. So far, over 1.2 lakh units of the car have been sold, a 71.4% growth over last year, led largely by its diesel variant.

“In a tough market like this, the Swift, Dzire and Ertiga continue to bring in new customers and incremental numbers,” said Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer (marketing and sales), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

Besides the Swift siblings, Mahindra Bolero at number 5 and Toyota Innova, which sits just outside the top 10, have recorded almost all-time high sales. Innova’s growth at almost 58% has startled the company itself.

“We are being asked whether the Maruti Ertiga will have an impact on the Innova but contrary to it, the latter is witnessing tremendous growth,” said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director, marketing and sales, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. “This year, it may touch sales of over 70,000 units and we are planning our production accordingly.”