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India’s Passenger Vehicle Market Dominated by Gasoline Powertrains, but Alternative Fuels Gaining Ground

The Indian passenger vehicle market has a long-term growth potential, backed by a population of 1.3 billion people. However, the Indian market also has some special aspects which negatively affect sales, such as the automobile tax system based on the “total length of 4m” regulation and the price-sensitive consumption tendency rooted in the spirit of “Value for Money” concept. These are well-known issues to those involved in automobile sales in India.

Looking at India’s passenger vehicle market in terms of powertrain systems, diesel engines will continue to decline while gasoline engines will gradually recover. Meanwhile, CNG engines will maintain a certain presence, while the main focus will be on electrification, more specifically on mild hybrid powertrain systems. In addition, the promotion of gasoline fuel mixed with bioethanol is expected in the medium term while the popularization of BEVs is forecast in the long term.

Sales of automobiles have continued to decline due to the revision of India’s fuel pricing policy in the mid-2010s and the rapid increase in emission regulations in recent years. The diesel vehicle ratio in the Indian passenger car market exceeded 50% during its peak period of 2012-2013 but dropped to 17% in the first half of 2021. Diesel vehicles still maintain a certain level of popularity in the medium and large SUV segment, so it seems that the market share of diesel vehicles has bottomed out, but their market presence has significantly changed in the last 10 years.

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