A day after Bajaj Auto
Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj accused the automotive industry of dragging its feet on upgrading to Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) norms Eric Nesselhauf, Managing Director of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) joined Bajaj in launching a scathing attack on the industry today.
Nesselhauf said some companies are deliberately trying to defer the transition to the higher emission standard. DICV, which sells trucks in the 9-49 tonne category under the Bharat-Benz brand, had fully migrated to BS-IV in 2015. DICV is the Indian subsidiary of the German heavyweight Daimler-Benz.
“Continuing discussions on BS-IV are reflecting obvious attempts of some players in the Indian commercial vehicle industry to dilute this upcoming transition of emissions standards”, Nesselhauf said.
DICV’s peers like Tata Motors
, Ashok Leyland
and Mahindra & Mahindra
, who control more than 80 percent of the domestic commercial vehicle industry, are yet to exhaust their inventory of BS-III vehicles which have higher carbon emissions. Moreover, many companies have said that they will continue to make BS-III vehicles till March 31, 2017.
“Recent studies on air quality show how important this project is for the people and the environment. It should not be diluted by commercial interests. There is no acceptable reason for any delay, as everyone in the industry had enough time to get ready for the transition”, added Nesselhauf.
On Wednesday, Bajaj said that any amnesty given to automakers allowing them to sell BS-III vehicles after April 1, 2017 will set a bad precedent to the industry and thereby defeating the very purpose of having a cleaner environment.
“With Bharat-Benz, we have the best technology in the market based on proven solutions. We have been selling several hundred BS4 vehicles since August 2015. The positive feedback from these early BS4 customers clearly tells us that Bharat-Benz is fully ready for the transition”, added Nesselhauf.
The government had mandated that from April 1, 2016 all new models sold in country have to be BS-IV compliant while the remaining models can upgrade by March 31, 2017. This is the first time that the government adopted a two phase strategy for the roll out of a new emission norm.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has asked that the industry should be given time to exhaust its BS-III stock of vehicles. The apex lobby body of the automobile industry, in its justification, stated a notification from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) which allows the manufacture of BS-III vehicles till March 31, 2017. It added the demonetisation has led to lower demand and inventory build-up.
“The issue is that the industry wants to keep pumping BS-III stock into the market. If there is any granting of amnesty or postponing the date of effective registration, our submission is that one who has done it on time is at a disadvantage and those who have chosen to be complacent or who are perhaps incompetent or perhaps a combination of both are going to keep selling the more polluting stuff for longer at lower prices. Obviously, this is not fair,” Bajaj said.