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Hyundai to launch diesel cars.

Posted on: March 6, 2009

Hyundai Motor India (HMI) plans to launch diesel variants of its recently launched compact cars – i10 and i20 – to get a larger chunk in the smaller car market, said a senior executive with HMI.

The Indian subsidiary of Hyundai, which has a 25% market share in the 800,000 small car segment in the country, already makes diesel version of these vehicles at its Chennai plant for exports. But in India, Hyundai markets only the petrol variant.

“We will launch the i20 diesel for the domestic market this year. But we are yet to finalise the engine size,” a senior company executive said. The company will initially launch the i20 diesel and the smaller i10 car’s diesel variant will be introduced in the domestic market later.

A person who tracks large passenger car makers in the country said, Hyundai may strap the 1.4 litre CRDi diesel engine in the i20 premium hatchback, which is currently being exported to Europe and other overseas markets. The smaller engine will allow Hyundai to take advantage of concessional 8% excise duty levied on smaller cars.

The diesel version of i20 is expected to be priced between Rs 5-6 lakh, 20-25% more than the petrol version. The 1.4 litre CRDi engine that offers an 88 BHP of power is expected to deliver a fuel efficiency of around 20 km per litre of fuel.

Hyundai also has a more powerful 1.6 litre diesel version, which is exported, but may not be launched in India due to its high price.

The i20 diesel is expected to come in twin variants. These will be pitted against the hugely popular Maruti’s Swift Diesel, Skoda’s Fabia, Tata Motors’ Indigo, Ford’s Fusion and Fiat’s Palio in the diesel hatchback segment.

Diesel cars are gaining popularity due to their superior fuel efficiency over petrol and lower price of diesel in India. The sales of diesel powered vehicles has doubled to around 30% of the total 1.5 million Indian passenger vehicle market in the past three years.

Source:Pricewale.com

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