Hyundai Motor India, like passenger vehicle market leader Maruti Suzuki India, is strongly bullish on increasing its sales of CNG-powered cars. Despite the recent retail price reduction in petrol and diesel following the Central excise duty cut and VAT by some States, CNG is still far cheaper and more affordable.
At upwards of Rs 90 a litre in most states, petrol is not cheap and is the major reason why there has been a sharp spurt in sales of CNG cars. Sales of factory-fitted CNG cars have seen a consistent and significant uptick in India. Between April and September 2021, CNG car sales recorded robust 96% YoY growth. Total sales were 101,412 (H1 FY2020: 51,448).
Growing share of CNG sales for Hyundai
For Hyundai, India’s No. 2 carmaker by sales volumes, CNG now accounts for a notable share for its three models – Santro, Grand i10 Nios and Aura – where the eco-friendly fuel is offered as a factory fitment.
“CNG penetration has scaled to up to 70% in case of the Aura compact sedan, and it ranges in the range of 25-30% for the Grand i10 Nios B+ segment hatchback,” Tarun Garg, director – Sales, Marketing and Service, Hyundai Motor India, told Autocar Professional.
What works in favour of CNG as a fuel for day-to-day commuting is the higher fuel efficiency which ends up being about 80-100% more compared to a same petrol-powered car. “Fuel efficiency becomes very important in the entry-level segment which is very sensitive to the fuel prices,” added Garg.
In the April-September 2021 period, Hyundai sold a total of 19,061 CNG-powered cars, which constitutes 238% YoY growth (April-September 2020: 5,631 units), albeit on a low year-ago base. Importantly, of the total 101,412 CNG cars sold in the first half of the ongoing giscal, Hyundai’s share is nearly 19%, which can only grow more with the growing consumer demand for CNG models.
The carmaker has seen a substantial growth in sales of its CNG-equipped models, where numbers have grown from 2,000 units monthly a quarter ago, to over 4,000 units at present. The monthly average in H1 FY2022 was 3,176 units albeit the pace picked up in August and September.
“Going forward, we should be looking at 5,000 units a month in the next couple of months, and while that target is for the existing range of CNG models, if need be, we will look at bringing CNG in other models as well,” said Garg.
While it might be looking at bringing CNG in SUVs – particularly compact SUVs – as well, for now, the Korean carmaker believes that it’s evident that the entry-level segment calls for petrol and CNG, while in case of SUVs, it’s going to be primarily petrol and diesel, in terms of propulsion technologies.
Also read: CNG car sales surge 96% in first-half FY2022