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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | There is a need to incentivise more efficient cars
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Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) showcased its readiness to the new emission norms of Bharat Stage VI which will be effective from April 2020, in a Sneak Preview event held in Chennai. During the event, (L to R) Dr Robert Wodrick (RW), Daimler AG, Rohit Bhan (RB), Daimler Buses India, Satyakam Arya (SA), MD & CEO, Pradeep Kumar (PK), VP-Product Engineering of DICV discussed about the upcoming BS VI regulations and current commercial vehicle industry in India. Excerpts:
What is your take on post GST phase and the automotive slowdown?
SA: GST reduction announced by the government had marginal effect on automotive industry. It did offer some help. There are three things that factored the slowdown. One- due BS VI regulations, the industry sales have gone down as people are waiting for new vehicles to be launched. Two- Axle norms helped to improve carrying capacity of commercial vehicles, ultimately affecting demand for CVs. Three- GST wiped out the local tax and the uniform taxation helped in optimum utilisation of fleet but hampered sales. Commercial vehicles sold in 2018 were around 378,000 units which will drop to 270,000 units by the end of the year. It is speculated that only 250,000 units of CVs will be sold in 2020 and by 2021, market coming back to normal, the sales may reflect around 270,000 units.
What is it that needs to be done for bringing down emissions?
SA: There is a need to launch a proper mechanism for scrap certification and as the upcoming regulations will be applicable next year, this is a good time. Many from the industry also suggest to have dedicated norms for each line of vehicles.
PK: There is a need for authorised scrap centres and to incentivise more efficient cars. For example, Japan and Europe follow such models. Either the consumer or the automaker be incentivised. Subsidising more efficient vehicles is another way to do so.
What new features will be seen due to the electric vehicles (EVs) and BS VI?
RW: Worldwide countries are looking to cut down on emissions. BS VI and EVs will help to do so. Moreover, this will also help to launch some new technologies like AI, telematics, fleet management systems, smart car apps.
PK: These technologies will help to serve as USP for the new-age vehicles. Acoss the globe new experiments are being conducted for developing some new systems, making driving more easy and efficient.
RB: Every new feature in the automotive has been marketed in India. For example, alloy wheels, sun-roofs, tubeless tyres, CD/ DVD players, radio and many other. These new technologies will help marketing new segment well.
What is the current status of BS VI-compliant fuel availability? SA: The availability of fuel is a big question. OEMs and refineries are engaging frequently for making the fuel available. Currently the BS VI-compliant fuel is only available across Delhi NCR, while other regions are yet to catch up. Even to test vehicles automakers have to arrange for the fuel at their own cost from different parts of India to the testing site. As of now the fuel makers have promised to make fuel available by the deadline.
PK: Post April 2020, it will take some time to make things more easier.
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