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Why drivers in India are turning to diesel

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While diesel prices hit record highs in Europe –

diesel cars are cheap in India

Cheap diesel cars in India

Diesel cars prove extremely economical in India.

Government subsidies

The main reason is that diesel is heavily subsidized by the Indian government.

This has been done to keep the transportation costs of goods low.
Diesel has also been subsidized because the agricultural sector is also dependant on diesel engines for irrigation.
And the auto industry in India has exploited this to the full.

There was a time when diesel was associated with heavy transportation vehicles only, but the scene has changed very much with the introduction of common-rail diesel technology.


Traditionally, the Indian market had a preference for petrol cars. Now that the performance of diesel cars is no less than that of petrol cars, a large number of consumers prefer to go for the  diesel variant.

Though diesel cars are priced higher than petrol cars, they do prove more cost effective in terms of fuel costs.
There is a remarkable difference in the cost of diesel and petrol in India with diesel costing only about two thirds the cost of petrol.

Of course, whether you recover the difference in primary cost of the car depends on how many miles you drive.
Diesels also demand more maintenance, especially regular and timely cleaning of its filters.

In fact, the bigger cars are mainly available in diesel because of its greater sturdiness.
The condition of roads in India is not in a very admirable state!  so  diesel’s extra durability comes in handy.

Further, speed levels in India are lower as compared to Europe.

When you add the low cost of diesel in India to the greater fuel efficiency, most consumers are willing to ignore any minor problems that come up in diesel cars.

This is especially true for people who need to drive long distances frequently.

As far as emission controls in India for diesel cars are concerned, regulations at par with Euro 4 are in place for the major metropolitan cities.

For the rest of the country, Euro 3 levels are expected, though eventually the government plans on Euro 4 for the whole country.
This has led to the introduction of advanced technology in diesel cars in India. This has also meant an increase in the cost of the car.

The average Indian consumer prefers hatchbacks in these days of growing nuclear families in cities, followed by sedans.
On the other hand, there is a preference for the bigger diesel cars only as a status symbol and limited to the rich only.

Other than the Indian players like Tata, Maruti, Hindustan and Mahindra you have the major international automobile companies like Fiat, Hyundai, Ford, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Skoda, GM, Nissan, Audi, Honda, Toyota, Mercedes and so on  vying for the Indian diesel car market.

However, Maruti and Tata, have models at the entry level and therefore  remain the first choice of Indians. Mahindra is more known in the Jeep and SUV segments than small passenger cars.

The market for a cheap diesel car in India is booming with the average Indian more concerned with fuel economy than performance.


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