Supreme Court Bans Registration of Diesel Cars Over 2000cc; Mahindra and Mercedes Among Those Affected

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The Supreme Court has issued the order to ban registration of diesel vehicles over 2000cc in Delhi till March 31, 2016. The court had convened yesterday to hear carmakers' plea against the ban on diesel cars in Delhi and other matters related to the growing air pollution in the nation's capital. Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had said, "People's life is at stake and you are interested in selling cars."

Furthermore, the Supreme Court has also issued orders for the following:

1. Entry of trucks not carrying goods for Delhi from NH8 (Jaipur) and NH1 (Punjab) has been banned

2. Commercial vehicles registered before 2005 can not enter Delhi

3. All taxis in NCR region to convert to CNG by March 31, 2016

Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, spoke to NDTV about the Supreme Court's order banning on registration of diesel vehicles in Delhi that have a displacement of over 2000cc, and said that this order will need to be studied and that the impact will be direct for players who have a large number of affected vehicles. One must note, Toyota's own bestselling Fortuner and Innova account for big sales in Delhi.

The National Green Tribunal recently ordered a ban on the registration of diesel cars in Delhi. The green court also said that the government should stop buying diesel cars in Delhi. One must note, these provisional orders will be enforced till the next date of hearing, which is on January 6, 2016.

Also Read: Indian Automakers Unhappy With NGT's Ban on Diesel Vehicles in Delhi

Commenting on the same earlier, Sunita Narain, head of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), had quoted, "I think the first thing is the Supreme Court has clearly come out in favour of hard action to control air pollution in the city of Delhi. The court has accepted the fact that diesel vehicles are a very large contributor to pollution in the national capital region and what they have said today is that they will come up with a ban on registration of private diesel cars in the NCR above 2000 cc," said Narain.

Statistics reveal that about 23 per cent cars registered in Delhi are diesel. Diesel cars can not only legally emit 7.5 times more particulate matter than petrol cars, but also produce comparatively more toxic nitrogen dioxide. In fact, the World Health Organisation said that diesel emissions can cause cancer.

Other than the ban on diesel vehicles, the Supreme Court also agreed to ban the entry of trucks registered before 2005 in NCR and increase the green tax to ₹ 1,400 (from ₹ 700) for trucks entering Delhi.

Moving on to the proposal to allow cars with odd and even registration numbers on alternate days from January 1 to check pollution, the court said it wasn't sure if it would help. "You can implement it if it is going to help. We haven't stopped you."

Mahindra & Mahindra, the largest utility vehicle maker in the country, issued the following statement:

"There is a serious concern on air quality in Delhi and an immediate need to protect the environment. Urgent action is required in this regard. Honourable Supreme Court has ordered many actions today including a ban on registration of diesel SUVs and private cars of 2000cc and above in the National Capital Region upto 31st March, 2016. The Company respects the order of the Honourable Supreme Court and does hope that these actions help to clean Delhi air.

The Company would hope that at the end of the interim period of 31st March, 2016, the judiciary and the regulators would look at the impact of these measures and take a holistic view on improving the air quality of Delhi, taking into account the overall impact of each action.

In the short term, the Honourable Court's order today, affects the sales of some of the Company's products in NCR. The vehicles affected represent about 2% of the Company's total monthly sales. The Company is in the process of evaluating various options to work within the framework provided by the Honourable Supreme Court."

Siddharth Vinayak Patankar, Editor - Auto, NDTV, spoke to people from the industry about the Supreme Court's aforementioned ban. Here's what they have to say:

The ban then puts home-grown car manufacturers like Mahindra and Tata Motors in a fix as most of the SUVs boast of powerful engines which are above the 2000cc category. But it's not just both these manufacturers that have to face the brunt of this order. So, here is a list of cars that will be affected due to this order.

1. Mahindra

a. Mahindra Bolero

b. Mahindra Scorpio

c. Mahindra XUV500

2. SsangYong

a. SsangYong Rexton

3. Tata

a. Tata Sumo

b. Tata Safari DiCOR

c. Tata Safari Storme

d. Tata Xenon

4. Toyota

a. Toyota Innova

b. Toyota Fortuner

5. Chevrolet

a. Chevrolet TrailBlazer

Luxury Car Manufacturers

6. Mercedes-Benz

a. Mercedes-Benz A-Class: A 200 d

b. Mercedes-Benz B-Class: B 200 CDI Sport

c. Mercedes-Benz C-Class: C 220 CDI

d. Mercedes-Benz CLA: 200 CDI

e. Mercedes-Benz CLS: CLS 250 CDI

f. Mercedes-Benz E-Class: E 250 CDI AVANTGARDE, E 350 CDI AVANTGARDE

g. Mercedes-Benz GL: GL 350 CDI

h. Mercedes-Benz GLA: GLA 200 CDI

i. Mercedes-Benz GLE: GLE 250 d 4MATIC, GLE 350 d 4MATIC

j. Mercedes-Benz S-Class: S 350 CDI

7. BMW

a. BMW 5 Series 530d M Sport

b. BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

c. BMW 7 Series (Local Assembly and CBU)

d. BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid

e. BMW X3 xDrive 30d M Sport

f. BMW X5

g. BMW X6

h. BMW Z4 Roadster

8. Audi

a. Audi Q5 45 TDI quattro

b. Audi Q7

c. Audi A8L

9. Volvo

a. Volvo XC60 D5 Inscription

b. Volvo S60 D5 Inscription

c. Volvo S80 D5 Inscription

(With inputs from agencies)

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