VW scandal won’t hit diesel car sales in India: Siam

10 Oct 2015


The emissions cheating scandal involving Volkswagen will not affect diesel car sales in India but the country needs uniform emission norms across the country, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said on Friday.

Vinod K. Dasari, president SIAM, managing director, Ashok Leyland Limited ''I don't think so. Diesel is a clean fuel. It continues to be a popular fuel in many parts of the world,'' SIAM President Vinod Dasari said here when asked if the VW scandal would hit sales of diesel cars in India.

He said diesel continues to be very popular fuel in India considering its economical proposition and efficiency.

''I don't see any impact of what has happened with one particular company affecting diesel (car) sales in India,'' he added.

While calling for a singular emission norm across India, Dasari also stressed on the need to have one body that will deal with many regulatory issues related to the automotive industry (See: Siam calls for single set of emission norms in India).

''There is a requirement for having a single regulatory authority. It will be wonderful to have one body,'' he said, adding currently the sector has to deal with various ministries such as petroleum and natural gas, heavy industries and road transport for different matters, besides state governments.

He, however, said the government is in the process of setting up National Automotive Board and SIAM is supporting the initiative.

''It will become easy for us to do business once it gets operational,'' Dasari said.

On the emission issue, he said the auto industry was ready to adopt stricter standards provided fuel is available across India.

''If the fuel is available the auto industry can always consider options to move faster,'' he said when asked if the auto industry was ready to jump straight to Euro VI from Euro IV as is being suggested in some quarters. He said it is the auto industry which voluntarily suggested that Euro VI, which was to be brought in 2026 must be brought in 2023.

''The minute oil industry says fuel will be available in 2023, we will be ready. I am actually worried whether they will have BS V fuel available in 2019. We are ready,'' he added.

Putting the blame on non-availability of fuel for the delay in implementation of more stringent emission norms in India, Dasari said engine technology is already available.

''The whole reason why BS III got delayed and BS IV took long to come was because of non-availability of fuel. Even today it is being implemented in different parts of the country in different times because of the non-availability of fuel,'' Dasari said.

Stressing that the auto industry is not responsible for the delay, he said, ''I am selling both Euro III and Euro IV and it is a pain in the neck for us, the auto industry to manufacture two types of vehicles. We would rather have one country one emission norm. Give me the fuel and I will make the right vehicle.''

Dasari also said India has accepted faster adoption of emission norms than Europe. ''We are adapting at a fast pace. Euro IV will come for commercial vehicles by 2017 and by 2019 we will have Euro V for all types of vehicles. Nowhere in the world do emission norms change so fast,'' he said.

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