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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Chevrolet Beat: How will the diesel engine help?

This is supposed to be a guest post, but couldn’t resist adding a paragraph or two of my own.

Cars in diesel weren’t a preferred option few years ago. They were believed to be high-maintenance and high cost vehicles, deemed fit only for travel agencies. But modern day diesels are quite different. They cost only marginally more than petrol, offer must lesser running cost per km and are practically maintenance free. Maruti launched its Swift Diesel few years ago, which was initially viewed with skeptism as to who’ll buy a hatchback for 6 lakhs in diesel. Soon the perception changed and demand for diesel car has been on the rise. At present all carmakers are looking to capitalize on Diesel demand. SX4 diesel was launched sometime back, most of the small cars- Ritz, Ford Figo, Nissan Micra, VW Polo, Skoda Fabia are all available in Diesel. Honda is suffering big time and losing out to competition, because it doesn’t have a diesel variant for its Jazz, City, Civic and CR-V. News is that even Nano can be expected in diesel in near future (not verified). Difference between petrol and diesel was about Rs 10 few years ago, now it is about Rs 30. No wonder diesel car bookings are sky rocketing.

Over to Bunny Punia of Gaadi.com for a guest article about Diesel Beat. With 81 PS of power, beat has best in class power. Hope the diesel beat sustains the same characterstics- Shrinidhi

Most automotive buffs have seen the Hollywood flick Transformers. Yes, it does have an Indian
connection in the form of the sexy looking Chevrolet Beat. No doubt, for the Indian market, the Beat
is the best looking product from Chevrolet for the Indian passenger car market. Launched in January
2010, the Beat instantly captured the hearts of thousands of customers, selling 11,755 units within
the first three months. However, soon, its sales figures started declining with the Beat managing to
sell just 9293 units in the next three months. This did come as a surprise to many as the Chevrolet
Beat packs in enough plus points in the form of striking looks, sporty interiors, nice equipment levels
and a powerful and efficient engine. The pricing of the car has also been perfect, with the base
model starting at a shade over Rs 3.5 lakh (ex-showroom). Infact, for those who are young at heart,
the Beat makes the best sense in this price bracket.

However, as mentioned above, the sales figures tell a different tale. The Beat had the lowest sale
in the month of July 2010 at just 1722 units in contrast to its best month in March 2010 when it
sold 4499 units. Overall, from January 2010 to April 2011, the company sold 48007 units of Beat,
averaging 3000 per month. This figure is quite poor in front of the rivals but Chevrolet already has
a remedy for it. The diesel powered Beat is almost ready and should be hitting the showroom any
time now. That should boost up the sales of the Beat considerably. Infact, the industry has been
witness to the change that a diesel model brings along. Take the case of the Nissan Micra for
instance. Its sales figures doubled after the diesel variants were launched. Hence it will be safe to
say that Chevrolet too can expect the Beat to rise above the 5000 units per month mark once its
diesel avatar is out and hence be a better seller than the Volkswagen Polo and probably overtake
the Maruti Ritz too. Will it? Our fingers are crossed!


Author: Bunny Punia (Associate Editor Gaadi.com)

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