Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles to go Future Proof
Published On May 16, 2017
Once bitten twice shy! The phrase is apt considering the recent Supreme Court’s ban on the sales and registration of BS-III vehicles which left the key automakers in uncertainty and insecurity. The commercial vehicle division of Tata Motors after the 36 percent sales drop following the Apex Court order is now planning to go future ready in order to avert such situation in future.
The move erupts after the company is leftover with the huge stock of 15,000 BS-III vehicles. Tata Motors has already started working on the technologies such as Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) which not only complies with the current BS-IV emission standards applicable from April 1st 2017, but also well in advance help company migrate to BS-VI norms scheduled to be implemented in 2020. This would help avoid any cataclysm regarding sales in coming years.
Rajesh Kaul, head of sales & marketing, Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles at Tata Motors said, "We have to be ready with the vehicles meeting BS-VI norms much before its proposed roll out date so that we are not faced any more shocks which arose from a recent incident. Thus we are powering our engines with the SCR technology”.
He added that the EGR technology has been developed in-house and will be integrated in light commercial vehicles while the SCR technology sourced from Cummins will be used in heavy vehicles. However, company prefers to go for SCR as it is a proven global technology and can be tweaked up to meet the BS-VI standards in future as against EGR technology which is relatively low-cost and easy to incorporate, but not future proof.
Tata Motors had developed the EGR technology in 2010 and SCR in 2014, but due to lack of BS-IV compliant fuel system in the country and other reasons, company began exporting it in compatible markets. According to Girish Wagh, head of product line, M&HCV, if company decides to switch over SCR technology, there shall be 7-9 percent hike in the price of medium and heavy commercial vehicles.
The annual expenditure of the company in research and development accounts for Rs. 3500 crore out of which 40 percent is for commercial vehicle segment. Wagh also declined to share estimates the company will incur switching over to BS-VI standards saying it’s unpredictable at the moment. On asking about disposing off the current BS-III inventory, he said company is considering exporting it to the SAARC regions.