Green Tribunal Ban: Auto Firms Seek Clarity on Sold, Unregistered Vehicles

New Delhi: Confusion reigns supreme among the automakers after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned new diesel vehicles in the capital and the companies want the government to immediately clarify on what will happen to registration and delivery of vehicles for which payment has already been accepted.

The automakers are also hoping that the government, while implementing the NGT order, will also take into consideration the fate of all the vehicles which are already in the showrooms before the ban was ordered.

“As far as instruction to dealers is concerned, we are confused. We don’t know what we have to do in Delhi,” Mahindra & Mahindra executive director Pawan Goenka said.

There are customers who have purchased vehicles, but registrations have not happened yet.

“What will happen to them, I don’t know. Those vehicles which are already in the showrooms in Delhi, what will happen to them, we don’t know either,” he said.

Last week, the tribunal had ordered that diesel-run vehicles will not be registered in Delhi and there will be no renewal of registration of such vehicles which are more than 10 years old.

“There are so many questions that arise out of this order, we hope that the Government of India will issue some clarification on how the NGT order will be implemented as it raises many issues in the short term,” Mr Goenka said.

Expressing similar views, Hyundai Motor India senior vice-president (marketing and sales) Rakesh Srivastava said, “The channel partners are faced with a challenge of addressing customer concerns on registration and delivery of vehicles for which payment has already been accepted.”

“Also, the challenge is on the inventory of diesel vehicles and the cost of it. It would adversely impact their viability as inventory levels are high in anticipation of high year-end sales,” he added.

While it is difficult to ascertain the number of vehicles in stock affected by the ban, according to industry players, most of the automobile manufacturers keep inventory of 4-6 weeks at their respective dealerships.

Renault India operations country CEO and MD Sumit Sawhney said, “Customers are confused. At this stage, everything is at a standstill because of this knee jerk and ad hoc step (of NGT). We are waiting and watching.”

When contacted, Maruti Suzuki India chairman R C Bhargava said he would first like to look at the order in detail before commenting anything on the matter.