Delhi Diesel Ban Receives Reaction From Automotive Industry
Modified On Dec 17, 2015 03:46 PM By Nabeel
Various Carmakers have issued official statements showing their concern over the Delhi Diesel Ban
Ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi is faced with mixed reactions. Where the environmentalists are satisfied, auto industry calls it "not optimal". A lot of prominent models from well-established carmakers fall under this ban and that have resulted in carmakers making strong statements on this topic. Although no manufacturer is questioning the ban, but it is obvious that majority of them will have to rethink a strategy to cope with these new norms.
One of the majorly affected automaker in this scenario is Mercedes-Benz. All diesel models of the German Automaker employ engines which are of 2 litre or more capacity. Mercedes will have to come up with a good alternative around this ban as they currently have 10 dealerships in NCR selling 11 models which by the new rules, cannot be sold in the region.
A company spokesperson while commenting on the developments said: “We think this decision is going to adversely affect the auto industry as a whole and will certainly encourage the creation of an unequal ground. This ban on diesel engines also creates an environment of uncertainty and will severely impact our expansion plans and future investments put in place for the Indian market. We also have to consider the loss of jobs that this will result at the dealerships, at the vendors producing diesel engines and also negatively impacting our own workforce.”
For Toyota, around 8% of sales are generated from NCR (Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurgaon) region and out of them, 80% are from diesel vehicles. Vikram Kirloskar, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor commented that there should have been a different approach to maintain the air quality of Delhi. He said, “We are concerned about the deteriorating air quality of Delhi. We have always been at the forefront of offering advanced technologies such as hybrids and have always complied with all regulations for vehicles. Toyota’s global approach is to make vehicles that will effectively reduce pollution. There are various sources of pollution which can be measured using a scientific source apportionment study. “ He added, “To improve the air quality from a vehicle point of view, we must take a comprehensive view of various factors causing pollution. These can be categorised into infrastructure-related pollution including traffic congestion areas and contribution by the industry, usage-related pollution considering the stop-start nature of traffic, and vehicle-related compliance to various emission norms. Based on all such factors, it would be appropriate to draw an action plan which helps improve the air quality in a sustainable manner,”
Mahindra is one of the leaders when it comes to SUV sales in the country. Bolero, which is Mahindra’s best selling SUV, was the top selling car in its category in the month of October. Other than this, Scorpio, Scorpio Getaway, Thar, Xylo and XUV500, all use engines which will be affected by the ban.
An official statement from Mahindra & Mahindra says: “The company would hope that at the end of the interim period of March 31, 2016, the judiciary and the regulators would look at the impact of these measures and take a holistic view on improving the air quality of Delhi, taking into account the overall impact of each action. In the short term, the Honourable court’s order today, affects the sales of some of the company’s products in NCR. The vehicles affected represent about 2% of the company’s total monthly sales. The company is in the process of evaluating various options to work within the framework provided by the Honourable Supreme Court.”
Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group has also expressed concerns over this issue via his tweets. He said “We thrive on challenges and rise above them. We'll surprise everyone with our resilience, just as we have done for decades. At the core of Mahindra's DNA is the unshakeable belief that 'When the going gets tough, Mahindra gets going. So even if we believe the decision on diesel vehicles isn't optimal, we'll honour it and develop vehicles that comply with their stipulations. I have always believed that the Supreme Court is an institution that sustains our faith in social justice and democracy in India,”
Although Tata is affected by the diesel ban, it can recover by promoting its petrol variants.
A Tata spokesperson said, “While we will see some impact on our sales in the 3-month period specified in the order, our continued foray into the petrol segment, as shown by recent launches, will stand us in good business stead over a period of time. Tata Motors shares the concern for environment but we remain convinced it is imperative this is seen in the larger context beyond just one quarter, to ensure environment-friendly initiatives are undertaken at all levels with a holistic approach that looks at causes of pollution from all sources. As stated earlier, the long term regulatory regime should focus on the overall emissions-control roadmap rather than any specific fuel or technology,”
Also Read: Mahindra S101: What We Know So Far!
Source: Autocar Professional
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