India’s leading automobile makers have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to impose a 1% green cess on vehicles with diesel engines larger than 2 litres. Here is what some of them had to say.
Mercedes-Benz India, in a statement:
“Following the court suggestion, we as a voluntary interim measure, offered to pay 1% of the ex-showroom price of the vehicle towards anticipated Environment Compensation Charge as a deposit, and not on the premise that our vehicles are polluting the environment. We reiterate that, being the pioneers of numerous technological innovations, Mercedes-Benz has the technology available and can switch our entire fleet to BS VI by 2018. However, we need compatible fuel to do so, to provide our customers with the latest technologies which are available worldwide.
“We welcome the government’s decision to pre-pone mandatory BS VI to 2020. We think the introduction of BS VI fuel is the best viable option to curb pollution. Mercedes-Benz India is waiting for compatible fuel quality and as soon as the required diesel fuel is made available we are ready to switch our portfolio quickly to the EU 6 standard.”
Mahindra & Mahindra, via Pawan Goenka, executive director
“We are very relieved with the decision of the Honourable Supreme Court today. Hope this decision will put all controversy surrounding diesel fuel behind us and we will be able to focus on the more important task of making our vehicles compliant with BS VI norms by April 2020.”
Hyundai Motor India, via Rakesh Srivastava, senior v-p, sales & marketing
“It is a positive step towards addressing the challenges of customers and various stakeholders. To improve investment climate positively is most important, supported by a structured and long roadmap for introduction of technology with a positive tax regime in which implementation of GST will play a key role.”
Toyota Kirloskar, via vice-chairman Shekar Viswanathan
“We at Toyota Kirloskar Motor welcome the Supreme Court’s decision on lifting the ban on registration of diesel vehicles over 2000cc in NCR Delhi. We would like to thank the customers in Delhi & NCR, who have been patient with us over the last 8 months. As a result of the lifting of the ban we are glad that we will now be able to serve our customers in the NCR & Delhi regions. We are fully compliant with all emission norms and have not violated any law of the land. Every successive generation of vehicles we make are increasingly more fuel efficient and emission efficient. We will always remain in the forefront of efforts to maintain the air quality and to keep the environment free from pollution. We have always worked in harmony with nature both in the products that we make and in our operations.”
Tata Motors, in a statement
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision as it appreciates the need for a planned regulatory regime, over a period of time. This will help the industry and customers. It is imperative to see this in the larger context to ensure environment-friendly initiatives are undertaken with a holistic approach that looks at the true causes of pollution from all sources. We believe it is essential that the regulatory regime determines emission control limits rather than prescribing a particular technology or fuel.”
Price Waterhouse, analysts, via Abdul Majeed, partner
“Lifting of the ban on bigger (diesel) vehicles in NCR is a good move (but) this step alone will not address the emissions issue. We need to figure out holistic solutions in the automotive sector by replacing old vehicles on the road. Promoting environment-friendly vehicles as well as significantly improving public transport are areas that require immediate attention. In addition, we need to move to higher and more uniform emission standards across the country.”