Thumbing down the diesel bandwagon...

While a majority of passenger vehicles fall below the 2,000 cc threshold, the SIAM is opposing the principle of the ban.

Published: 29th May 2016 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2016 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI: If the ban on Diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region did not bother auto makers much, Kerala jumping on the bandwagon definitely has. The industry’s worst fears have come one step closer to realisation - a nationwide ban on diesel cars.

While a majority of passenger vehicles fall below the 2,000 cc threshold, the Society of Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is opposing the principle of the ban. ”The National Green Tribunal (NGT) order in the state banning diesel vehicles is completely unwarranted. The pollution level in the state of Kerala is well below prescribed limits... there is no need to replicate such an order in Kerala,” said Vishnu Mathur, Director General, SIAM, adding, “Ultimately the order will wipe out all diesel vehicles-bus, trucks, SUVs-from the Kerala roads, which is unacceptable.”

Thumbing Do.jpgMeanwhile, a number of firms have come out strongly against the development. Toyota has said it is already reviewing its India operations due to the bans. “What is hurting us is not so much the ban but the unfairness,” said Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice-Chairman and Whole-time Director Shekar Viswanathan. Mercedes-Benz too has stated that it is putting its India investments on hold until clarity emerges in diesel car policy.

But it isn’t just Mercedes and Toyota that are facing uncertainty. Mitsubishi may face a wipe-out threat following the order ,because out of the 4,900 cars sold in Kerala, as many as 2,900 vehicles (59 per cent) are older than 10 years. Pajero Sport, with 2,500 cc engine, has sold 300 units since 2012 in the state. Others however, are not much perturbed even now. All of Volvo Auto India’s vehicles are below 2000 cc.

Thumbing Down the Diesel.JPG“All our vehicles are Euro 6 or BS VI compliant and now have some of the lowest CO2 emissions among all luxury car brands in the world. At Volvo, we also hope for policies substantiated with accurate statistics and data. It is not about the size of the car. Large cars could be cleaner than most other smaller vehicles, if they have the right powertrain technology,” said Tom von Bonsdorff, Managing Director, Volvo Auto India. 

The industry also fears that this might affect sales hard. SIAM has stated that said the diesel ban in Delhi has already cost about 5,000 jobs along with a production loss of about 11,000 units and Kerala’s ban will affect about 40,000 heavy motor vehicles and 98,000 light motor vehicles. And while sales of petrol cars and SUVs between January-February 2016 grew 7% year on year, sales of diesel powered personal vehicles fell 7.3%.


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