Tata Nexon Dark

Tata Motors to continue selling diesel powered cars till emission norms allow

In a market increasingly focused on electric and hybrid vehicles, Tata Motors remains steadfast in its commitment to diesel. Vivek Srivatsa, the chief commercial officer of Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd, emphasised the continued demand for diesel engines. Srivatsa’s insights come at a time when diesel is often considered a less favourable option due to environmental concerns and stringent regulations.

Despite industry trends and regulatory pressures, Srivatsa highlighted that diesel engines continue to play a vital role in Tata Motors’ strategy. The company, historically known for its robust diesel utility vehicles, was a pioneer in introducing the diesel powered Indica hatchback. The introduction of BS6 emissions norms led to the discontinuation of several diesel engines, including Tata’s 1.1-litre unit used in the Tiago and Tigor. However, Tata Motors successfully upgraded the 1.5-litre diesel engine in the Nexon and Altroz to comply with these standards.

The Tata Altroz remains the only hatchback in the market offering a diesel option. Diesel variants account for 8% of the Altroz’s total sales, with petrol and CNG variants making up 61% and 31%, respectively. In the compact SUV segment, the Tata Nexon saw diesel variants constituting approximately 16% of its 2023 sales. This segment is competitive, with other diesel options available from Mahindra, Hyundai and Kia.

Srivatsa noted that diesel demand has actually picked up in some of our products and predicted that till emissions norms allow, demand for diesel will continue pretty strong. He expressed confidence that the demand for diesel is not expected to diminish soon.

Tata Motors’ larger SUV models, the Harrier and Safari, are powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine sourced from Fiat, which is also used in the Jeep Compass, Meridian and MG Hector. The Harrier and Safari have been performing well, with monthly sales figures between 3000 and 4000 units.

Looking ahead, Tata Motors is preparing to introduce an electric version of the Harrier, set to debut in 2025.

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