Preferences of car buyers have changed as petrol-run vehicles sales double up

A few years ago, most of the consumers preferred diesel vehicles and automakers tweaked their plans to cater to that segment.

Cut to 2016, the buyer preference has changed again who are opting for petrol-run vehicles. The petrol-run utility vehicles accounted for as much as 18% of the segment in sales in September, compared with 10% a year earlier, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

As per the data, the sales increased 38% to 66,851 units in September from a year, those of petrol-powered models more than doubled to 12,227 units, or four times faster than the diesel versions.

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Maurti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra and Toyota Motor have tapped this new trend and launched petrol versions of their popular models.

Petrol-powered vehicles are also a hit now due to Supreme Court's ban on the sale of diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region, even after it was lifted in August.

"The financial gains of owning a diesel vehicle, especially for city driving, has reduced given the narrowing price differential between the two fuels. Coupled with that, the uncertainty which exists over the lifecycle of a diesel vehicles and the restrictions which were placed on sale of diesel vehicles last year, have left consumers cautious. Sales of petrol utility vehicles are expected to continue to grow over the next few years,” Gaurav Vangaal, senior analyst at IHS Automotive, told ET.

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"Though the Supreme Court has now eased the ban on registration of larger diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region, recent rulings have left consumers wary,” Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president for marketing & sales at Honda Cars India, told ET, adding “at Honda today, as much as 75% of sales come in from petrol versions. The trend has reversed completely. When we had launched the Amaze as much as 80% of sales used to come in from diesel.”