The automotive industry may have been ravaged by the pandemic but the government is in no mood to listen to any of their pleas. The industry will, therefore, have to adhere to the earlier agreed deadline on next-generation emission norms which kick in from 2022. More on this later; but first here is a complete look at what else made headlines in the automotive space this week.
Venu Srinivasan to step down as CMD
TVS Motor Company on MArch 24 announced the appointment of auto industry veteran and former JLR CEO Ralf Speth to its board of directors, besides bringing in Kuok Meng Xiong as an independent director.
Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Motor Company, will become Chairman Emeritus effective January 2023. Speth will succeed him as Chairman, the company said in a release.
Jaguar I-Pace launched at Rs 1.05 crore
Jaguar Land Rover India on March 23 launched its fully electric SUV Jaguar I-PACE in India, with a price starting at Rs 1.05 crore (ex-showroom).
Jaguar I-PACE is powered by a 90 kWh battery that delivers 294 kW power and 696 Nm torque, allowing it to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds.
KTM, Bajaj Auto strengthen partnership for EVs
Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto are strengthening their strategic cooperation in the development of electric two-wheelers with the first of these products set to hit the market in 2022.
Moneycontrol had first reported of development work of the electric scooters, electric mopeds and electric bicycles by Bajaj Auto and KTM.
Mercedes launches A Class
Bringing in a new entry point into luxury line of cars, Mercedes-Benz has just launched the A-Class Limousine at an introductory priced of just Rs 39.90 lakh.
The A-Class sits at the lowest rung of Mercedes-Benz’s luxury cars, but the company says that the limousine is targeted towards young buyers.
BMW Motorrad launches M 1000 at Rs 42 lakh
BMW Motorrad India has just launched the M 1000 RR sportbike starting at a price of Rs 42 lakh ex-showroom.
Being an M-badged bike, you get a number of embellishments to the standard S 100 RR along with a number of improvements to the engine itself.
Volkswagen to launch Taigun
More than three years after Volkswagen and Tata Motors called off their partnership, the German automotive giant is finally ready with its maiden product for India which could have otherwise been a work of the joint venture.
The mid-size SUV Taigun is all set to debut around the festive season later this year and Volkswagen has pulled out all stops for its launch.
Audi launches S5 Sportback at Rs 79.06 lakh
German premium carmaker Audi on March 22 launched the facelifted version of its mid-spec performance car S5 Sportback in the domestic market at a starting price of Rs 79.06 lakh (ex-showroom).
The five-seater, four-door sports coupe, has been brought as a completely built unit, the company said in a release.
Govt says no to plea on shifting emission norm date
Given the sustained surge in demand for automobiles, the government is unlikely to put on hold or postpone the next generation emission norms that kick in from 2022, as per a Reuters report.
Different lobby groups of automotive companies such as the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association had been trying to convince the government to put on hold the norms that kick in from next year.
India is set to adopt corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) and real driving emission (RDE) norms in 2022 and 2023, respectively. To adhere to these norms auto companies have to make fresh investments, which they say will put additional financial burden on them.
Estimates suggest that the auto industry invested close to Rs 80,000 crore in switching to BS-VI from BS-IV, 40-50 percent of which was done by the component industry. As per estimates investments for the new norms would be just 10-15 percent of the investments made for the BS-VI changeover.
CAFE norms propose improvement in fuel efficiency by 10 percent or more by 2021-end, before reaching a 30 percent target from 2022.
Under CAFE, a car’s mileage will be decided on the amount of fuel it consumes for running 100 km. To be sure, CAFE 1 norms are already in practice. CAFE 2 norms are to be implemented in 2022.
RDE is the most preferred emission regulation method in the world since it is aimed at reducing the gap between type-approval emission, which occurs during the certification (homologation) testing phase, and those in the real world.
The auto industry is arguing that the slowdown of 2019 and the demand wipe-out in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on their profitability. However, automotive demand has bounced back faster than expected and has remained like that since the past six months.
The government also did not cut GST on two-wheelers as signalled earlier following a sustained surge in demand that started just before the onset of the festive period.