The Supreme Court verdict on the Delhi diesel cars ban has captured loads of public attention over the last few months. The apex court yesterday ruled out any respite to the automakers as the restriction to run or register diesel cars above 2,000cc capacity in Delhi and NCR region has been upheld.
With car manufacturers raging over the decision as some of their best-selling vehicles were not able to be sold since the beginning of 2016, Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, voice its concerns and said the ban is a “worst advertisement of India” as vehicles comply with the norms thrown at them by the governing body before going on sale.
The two worst hit Indian manufacturers due to the ban are Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors. Their SUV portfolios were put in complete shambles before the former decided to introduce Delhi-specific 1.99 mHawk downsized diesel engine to circumvent the ban.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor has two of the top-selling models facing the axe. The MPV segment-topping Innova has been largely affected by the ban and the new-generation model entered the market last week cannot be sold in Delhi-NCR as well as it gets powered by 2.4 and 2.8-litre diesel engines. Another casualty in its line-up is the Fortuner SUV since the ban came into effect last December.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice Chairman and Whole-time Director Shekar Viswanathan said prior to the latest SC verdict: “If we don’t get a breakthrough on Monday, our vehicles despite being compliant of all regulations in India would continue to be banned. That’s the worst advertisement of India,”
He went on to state that Toyota has no plans to develop a specific engine like Mahindra and would stick by its current agenda as customers may not prefer change. He questioned the rule makers about why hasn’t there been an informed environmental policy and won’t the IC engined vehicles below 2,000 cc cause pollution.
Being vocal about the ban, Shekar Viswanathan further explained that if the same policy is elected to be introduced in other cities, it would cause chaos for dealerships and an environmental compensation cess of 30 per cent from the original value of new vehicles will only pile up the burden for customers.