With Rising Regulation on Diesel Vehicles, Maruti Postpones LCV Model
Published On Mar 11, 2016
Environment centered activism has caused Maruti Suzuki to delay its planned entry into the light commercial vehicle segment. The company had been planning to launch a mini-truck in the coming month, which had been in development for two years now. However, following news of a pollution crisis in the capital and other cities, and stringent moves against diesel vehicles, the firm has decided to put off the date for now.
Termed as 'Carry', the vehicle's release came at a time when the LCV segment showed signs of recovery. Over the past three years, a hard slowdown hit the entire CV realm, but the LCV field had been hit heavily. Sales for all companies, including segment leader Tata, plummeted. Over the past year, the heavy duty segment surged back to normal, and hopes have been growing for an LCV recovery to follow suit. Industry experts also cite rejuvenating sales figures which marks a positive trend. Mahindra & Mahindra, currently leading in the LCV market, saw a sales hike of 10% in January, while the figure for Tata Motors was 9%.
“Demand for LCVs is on account of both industrial and non-discretionary consumer demand for the transportation of food items as well as for transportation applications such as rural taxis. Considering the weakened demand for industry-related freight in FY16, the sales volumes were largely driven by non-discretionary consumer demand,” India Ratings, a rating and research firm said.
Although well poised for release around the coming month, Maruti decided to offset the launch with new taxes levied for diesel vehicles and a ban on new diesel models exceeding 2000cc. “Launching the LCV this financial year is quite difficult. So much has happened against diesel. We have to carefully evaluate next financial year when we try to launch it,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director of Maruti Suzuki.