aci_september(Un)clear roadmap

The verdict on lifting the ban imposed by the Supreme Court on the registration of new diesel cars and SUVs with engine capacities above 2000cc in New Delhi and NCR has brought some cheers to the OEMs. The SC bench in January had rejected a plea by Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Mahindra & Mahindra to lift the interim ban. The Central government supported the automotive industry saying “diesel cannot be termed as an undesirable fuel”. Finally in the last fortnight the apex court lifted the 8-month old ban but asked the automotive industry to pay a levy equal to 1% of the ex-showroom price of diesel vehicles with an engine capacity above 2000cc.

Though it is a welcome move, still many issues are left undecided. What the industry needs is a long-term and clear roadmap. The fate of the small diesel cars is left undecided. The lack of clarity on impending policy changes and new regulations already had negative impact on the OEMs and their retail business plans in the national capital region. Many people lost their job in the dealerships due to the uncertainty created by this ban.

Rather than banning big or small diesel vehicles, or any other type of vehicles, it is better to speed up and ensure the implementation of norms and standards like BS-VI and envisage environment-friendly multi-modal public transport system. They will certainly reduce the vehicle pollution to a great extend. We need air pollution regulations not only in NCR. The pollution problem is common to all cities and towns in the country. There is urgent need for regulatory and legal remedies along with other constructive and technical steps to control it. We need a very clear roadmap for clean air everywhere.

Auto Components India tries to highlight every month some latest challenges faced by the components industry. The current issue is on tyre industry and the new trends in the market. The tyre industry is sceptical about their chances to benefit from the automotive industry revival. Shortage of domestic natural rubber, trade barriers on rubber import, liberal policy on tyre import are among the problems the tyre manufacturers face.

Many of them are looking for escape routes by entering new market segments like two-wheeler tyres. The recent announcements by tyre majors like JK Tyre, Apollo Tyres, Bridgestone, and BKT portend an emerging war in the two-wheeler tyre market. Our cover stories have some details on this. We have other regular features and news about the happenings on the components industry front.

Wishing you happy reading

Bhargav TS
Executive Editor

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