The fall in petrol price has hit CNG kit dealers as motorists are now turning away from the cheap and environmental friendly option. “Two years ago the industry was booming, but now, the sales have dropped by about 80%,” director, Suvidha Auto Gas Ltd, Madhukar Agnihotri told Hindustan Times.
In Indore, CNG is being sold at Rs 61 per kg while petrol costs rs 62 per litre. “Who will want to buy the kit which increases the weight of the car and cramps the boot space when there is no incentive?” Agnihotri said.
Dealers say many car owners who had got these kits retrofitted in their cars now want to sell the CNG kit. Another reason for the drop in the demand for CNG kits is that there are few CNG outlets in the city. Four-wheeler owners have to usually wait in long queues as auto-rickshaws make a beeline at fuel stations to get their quota of compressed natural gas.
Cheap Chinese kits are also to be blamed for motorists showing no interest to opt the CNG option. Unlike the earlier foreign-make kits, these Chinese kits are not known for their performance as well.
“Last year, I was doing a brisk business. Right now, I will be lucky to do even three fittings a month. There is absolutely no incentive and we are left to deal with the drop in fuel prices. If sales continue like this, I may even close down the business,” said another dealer who did not wish to be named.
Dealers also rue the fact the CNG prices have remained stable in the last few months. “The CNG prices are anyway higher in Indore than in nearby Dewas. We want the company to slash the prices,” Agnihotri said.
Dealers felt the CNG kit industry is unlikely to see any revival unless there is a rise in petrol prices. Due to an unprecedented fall in global oil rates, petrol prices in India have seen 10 cumulative cuts, with the fuel getting cheaper by Rs 17.11 per litre since August. Similarly, diesel prices came down by Rs 12.96 a litre by way of six cuts since its de-regulation in October.