Tata Motors to continue betting on diesels

Diesel accounts for 8 percent of total Altroz sales.

At the sidelines of the Tata Altroz Racer media drive, Vivek Srivatsa, chief commercial officer, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd, explained to us why he thinks diesel cars will likely remain in demand despite manufacturers, government bodies and the market relegating it as second class.

  1. Altroz is the only hatchback with a diesel
  2. Srivatsa expects strong demand for diesels

Tata Motors that's known for its diesel UVs and is also the first manufacturer to launch the Indica hatchback with this fuel type back in the day, continues to bet on diesel. BS6 emissions norms were responsible for the demise of several diesel engines, including Tata’s 1.1-litre unit, which powered the Tiago and Tigor. However, the company found a cost-effective solution to upgrade the Nexon’s and Altroz’s 1.5-litre diesel engine, to meet these stringent norms.

The Altroz is currently the only hatchback in the market to get a diesel option. Srivatsa revealed that diesel accounts for eight percent of total Altroz sales, while petrol and CNG contribute 61 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

In the Nexon’s case, diesel accounted for approximately 16 percent of total sales in 2023. The compact SUV segment, however, has a lot more diesel options: the Mahindra XUV 3XO, Hyundai Venue and the Kia Sonet.

Srivatsa commented that "diesel demand has actually picked up in some of our products", and believes that "till emissions norms allow, demand for diesel will continue pretty strong". He further mentioned, "I don’t see it [demand for diesels] tapering very soon."

Tata’s large SUV line-up, comprising the Harrier and Safari, are powered by a sole FCA-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine, which also does duty in the Jeep Compass and Meridian, and MG's Hector and Hector Plus. Interestingly, the Harrier and Safari sell between 3,000-4,000 units monthly, which is more than those of the aforementioned models put together. To make its large SUV future-ready, Tata Motors is developing an electric version of the Harrier, which is on track to be introduced in 2025.

Also see:

Tata Altroz Racer automatic on the cards

Tata Nexon EV secures 5-star Bharat NCAP crash test rating

Tata Sierra EV launch confirmed for FY2026

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