Stating that growth of the industry and creation of jobs are likely to be adversely impacted due to targeting of diesel vehicles, he said India seems to be applying “western remedies for pollution to our problem”. Bhargava said the fundamental truth that dust is the major cause of pollution in National Capital Region (NCR) is often forgotten. Citing a study by IIT Kanpur on sources of pollution in NCR, he said it found that cars are not a significant contributor to PM (particulate matter) 2.5 in NCR.
“Yet, going by what has been happening, cars and especially diesel cars, are being treated as main villain for our polluted air. Not only are the measures being enforced unlikely to make any significant difference to the air quality, but the growth of the industry, and creation of jobs are likely to be adversely impacted,” he said.
In his address to shareholders in the company’s Annual Report for 2015-16, Bhargava further said: “Investors are losing confidence, and customers are unsure of what to do.” He said in the west dust has never been a pollutant of significance but NOX is the main concern. “However, we seem to be applying the western remedies for pollution to our problem, though the cause is entirely different,” Bhargava added.
The positive factor, he said “is that the government recognises the dangers of the situation, and is taking a firm stand in favour of growth, while dealing with the real pollution problem”. During 2015-16, he said the industry has faced one major challenge with environmentalists, media and the judiciary concerned over improving air quality in the NCR area and in other parts of India.
Stating that the auto industry is also equally concerned over pollution, Bhargava, however, said: “Finding the correct solution to any problem requires that the root cause of the problem is correctly diagnosed.”
Last year in December, the Supreme Court had banned diesel cars and SUVs with engine capacity of 2,000 cc and above. In April, the apex court had barred diesel taxis from plying in the NCR but later modified the order in May allowing those running on all India tourist permits (AITPs) to ply in NCR centered on Delhi until the expiry of their permits.
Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) plans to bring more products with hybrid technology over the next few years as concern for safeguarding environment increases in India. The auto major, which is facing capacity constraint, is also expediting the process to operationalise its upcoming Gujarat plant by early next year and start selling vehicles produced from the plant within this fiscal.
“As a market leader and a responsible corporate citizen, we are fully sensitive to our duty towards the environment. We were the first ones to launch mild hybrid products with reasonably good volumes. This process of hybridisation will be expanded further in the next few years,” MSI Manging Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said in his address to shareholders in the company’s Annual Report for 2015-16.
Japan MNC Bridgestone enters India’s 2-wheeler tyre segment
Japanese tyre major Bridgestone Corporation on Thursday announced foray into Indian two-wheeler tyre segment. The company’s arm Bridgestone India will sell motorcycles and scooters tyres with the launch of NERUN brand across the country. Bridgestone India Managing Director Kazuhiko Mimura said: “The launch of two-wheeler tyre brand NEURUN is a big leap for us towards achieving our strategic expansion plan of catering to a high volume market and a wider audience reach.”
The entry into the ever growing two-wheeler market in India will facilitate the company in providing a wider product range and services to customers, he added. Globally, Bridgestone globally one of the leading two-wheeler tyre manufacturers and was a former sole tyre supplier to ‘Moto GP’, the world s highest motorcycle racing category. The company said India is one of the largest automobile markets in the world making it a leading consumer for tyres. Two-wheeler is the most dominating segment in the Indian automobile market in terms of volume sales. The two-wheeler category is growing at CAGR of 8.5 per cent in India with an estimated 150 million number of two-wheelers on the road which is testimony of the huge potential of tyre demand, it added.