The upcoming Ford Fiesta Facelift could be the latest car in India to hop onto the diesel-only brigade, even as the petrol and diesel price differential is getting lower each passing month. Ford India’s official website promoting the Fiesta Facelift fails to mention the petrol engine for the sedan and so does the brochure of the car uploaded on Motorbeam. Many car makers, especially in the D-Segment and above have adopted a diesel-only approach in the Indian car market given the fact that sales of petrol cars are minimal in segments above 10 lakh rupees.
In case of the pre-facelift Fiesta, diesel cars outnumbered petrol variants. Let’s consider Fiesta sales figures for the last six months in India, prior to the pre-facelift model’s discontinuation in December 2013. In the last fifteen months, Ford India sold 1,436 units of the new Fiesta. Of these, 1,372 cars were diesel powered with petrol powered Fiestas numbering a minuscule 64 units, or less than 5 % of sales. Clearly, a case for the discontinuation of the petrol powered Fiesta exists.
In anticipation of the facelifted model’s impending launch, Ford India has stopped dispatching the Fiesta sedan to dealerships for the past three months to prevent inventory build up, more so given the pre-facelift car’s slow sales. Also, Ford India has not been manufacturing the 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrol engine-6 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox equipped Fiesta AT variant for nearly a year now, choosing to divert production towards the high demand EcoSport crossover. In light of these developments, the petrol powered Fiesta being culled from the variant line up is very real.