Our national capital has now become the fifth-largest car market in the country. The primary reason for this is that Kerala (which now sits at the sixth spot) has had to battle economic problems of late. In the fiscal year 2016, Kerala’s market grew about 2 per cent selling 1,95,400 units whereas Delhi’s auto market sold 1,99,400 cars and grew by 9 per cent. Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Hyundai Motor India is reported to have said: “Low crude prices challenged the Middle Eastern economies are affecting a large population of workers coming from Kerala and the remittances they send back home, cutting down disposable incomes and thereby vehicle sales in the state.”
Delhi has been in the thick of chaos and debate thanks to the diesel car ban. Last year, the auto market of Delhi grew by over 12 per cent. The sales of petrol vehicles saw a hike when the ban on diesel cars with engine capacity of 2.0-litre and above was imposed. In the fourth quarter of FY16, 57.8 per cent sales in the country were of petrol cars, compared to 55.9 per cent before the ban was announced. As of now, petrol cars account for about 60.4 per cent, which is the highest in the past five years. Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Honda Cars India, said, “After the ban on sale of larger diesel vehicles came into effect mid-December last year, there was a sharp shift in consumer preference towards petrol versions.”
Now, the ban on registration of bigger diesel cars in Delhi has been lifted and we expect the market to grow even more. Also, the cost difference between petrol and diesel is now only Rs 9.82, which will encourage people to further buy cars with petrol engines.