Indian car buyers have shown an increasing preference for petrol cars and the share of diesel variant in new car sales has fallen to 23 per cent from almost 50 per cent in FY13. The narrowing gap between petrol and diesel prices, an uncertainty around the future treatment and low resale price of diesel cars are apparent reasons for the shift. In case of SUVs, however, the bulk of the sales come from diesel variants.
In the last few years, Toyota has seen the demand for its petrol Corolla sedan moving up from 75 per cent to 89 per cent now. The Liva hatchback has also seen a surge in demand for petrol variants. It is only in the Etios compact sedan that diesel demand has remained firm due to higher purchases from the taxi fleet segment so Toyota is making a shift to a petrol-only strategy for its non-SUV future vehicles in India.
The Yaris sedan, which will be launched next month, will have a petrol only option. This marks a shift from Toyota’s earlier approach where it rolled out both diesel and petrol variants for smaller cars like the Etios sedan and Liva hatchback.
The company said it is focussing on creating more awareness amongst customer about clean and green strong hybrid technology. “The government’s move to extend FAME Scheme will help to boost the demand for strong hybrids, encouraging faster adoption of environment-friendly vehicles.