Toyota may explore petrol version of Innova, Fortuner

New Delhi: The Indian unit of Toyota is all set to explore the petrol versions of its popular multi-purpose vehicles Innova and SUV Fortuner to tide over the Supreme Court’s verdict, curbing registration of vehicles with large diesel engines in the National Capital Region.

Toyota, which records maximum sales from diesel-powered vehicles, is also considering having petrol versions for all future products to de-risk sales from adverse rulings on diesel vehicles.

The current ban on registration covers vehicles with engine size of two litres or more and is for three months, but there are concerns among auto makers that this could be extended.

TS Jaishankar, deputy managing director-commercial at Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “When we started selling the Innova, we had made available a petrol version. It was discontinued as demand was largely diesel-driven. We have to see now, if it warrants, we have to get it back.”

According to data available with industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Toyota sold 91,588 vehicles in the domestic market between April and November 2015. Of these, 50,771units, or more than 55 percent, were the Innova and Fortuner.

According to industry experts, about 400,000 units of diesel vehicles with two-litre or heavier engines are sold in the country annually and of these five to eight percent are sold in the NCR.

Data shared by the company (from the Delhi government’s website) show of the 2.64 million cars registered in the National Capital Territory until March 2015, 1.42 million were of BSI of II.

Toyota is not the only one to examining options to develop petrol versions of best-selling products. Last month, Mahindra said it will focus on developing petrol engines for its existing portfolio of vehicles. (ANI)