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Ban on norm-compliant vehicles worst advertisement of India: Toyota

With the Supreme Court set to take up the matter of ban on diesel cars and SUVs on Monday, the world’s largest automaker Toyota said continued restrictions on vehicles that comply with all regulations would be the “worst advertisement of India”.

The ban has been imposed on diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of above 2,000 cc in Delhi and NCR.

The company, which operates in India as a joint venture — Toyota Kirloskar Motor with the Kirloskar group, is among the worst hit and has not been selling its popular vehicles Innova and SUV Fortuner in the Delhi-NCR region since the ban was imposed in December last year.

“If we don’t get a breakthrough on Monday, our vehicles despite being compliant of all
regulations in India would continue to be banned. That’s the worst advertisement of India,”
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice-Chairman and Whole-time Director Shekar Viswanathan told PTI.

Stating that the environment lobby is not adequately informed, he said: “Does the ban suggest to mean that other diesel, petrol and CNG driven vehicles don’t pollute? Why is the ban only on 2,000 cc and above diesel cars and SUVs?”

On the company’s plans in case the ban stays, Viswanathan said: “Then, we will sit out of the market where the ban is imposed. We cannot change the engine specification as our customers may not desire it.”

He also cautioned that there would be “losses, laying off of people and hardships for dealerships” in the auto industry if other cities were to seek a similar ban on such diesel vehicles as is being currently done in the capital and NCR.