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Toyota Says May Review India Operations Over Ban On Diesel Vehicles

The National Green Tribunal Circuit Bench in Kochi has banned light and heavy diesel vehicles more than 10 years old in six cities of Kerala

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Following a court ban on diesel cars to control air pollution in Delhi, the National Green Tribunal has ordered curbs on diesel vehicles more than 10 years old and those with engines larger than 2,000cc in Kerala.

The National Green Tribunal Circuit Bench in Kochi on May 23 banned light and heavy diesel vehicles more than 10 years old in six cities - Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kollam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur.

The Bench also directed the state government not to register any diesel vehicle in with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc and more. The announcement has shocked the auto industry as diesel vehicles have a large share in Kerala's passenger vehicle market.

John K Paul, president, Kerala Automobile Dealers Association, said around 20 per cent of automobile sales would be impacted in Kerala by the NGT order. The sales of Mahindra, Toyota and luxury carmakers like Mercedes, Audi and BMW are likely to suffer from the ban.

Toyota, whose best-selling models (Fortuner and Innova) falls under the banned category, said it is reviewing its operations in India. Though Toyota is not considering closing operations in India, it is not planning to launch new models in the country either.

"We have already started re-looking at our operations. What is hurting us is not so much the ban but the unfairness. Orders are passed without hearing us. It is going against the principles of natural justice. We feel our vehicles are being targetted," Shekar Viswanathan, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice-Chairman and Whole-time Director, was quoted as saying in the media.

Toyota’s sales have been heavily impacted due to the Supreme Court’s decision to ban the registration of diesel vehicle in with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc and more in the national capital. The company has earlier expressed its grief about the ban.

As for banning light and heavy duty vehicles that are 10 years old, lorry owners in Tamil Nadu are also worried because they operate 30,000-40,000 lorries between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The tribunal has also ordered that a fine of Rs 10,000 be imposed on diesel vehicles if they continue to be on the roads 30 days after the imposition of the ban.


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toyota national green tribunal environment automobiles