Indian government to permit local manufacturing of all-terrain vehicles

Friday 10 January 2014, 11:33 AM by

Indian government has given a go to the proposition of manufacturing All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) in the domestic market. This declaration is sure to attract locally established and international manufacturers to advent Indian market and start the production of their respective ATVs. The news comes from our country's Highway Minister, Oscar Fernandes who has approved the scheme with appropriate norms to be implemented while developing such vehicles. The ministry is also seeking out help from various stakeholders in same regard. In India, Polaris and Nebula are currently dominating the ATV segment and are still on the verge of gaining acknowledgement. At present, ATVs are usually brought as Completely Built Units (CBUs) and the new scheme from government will eventually be beneficial to reduce import duties on such vehicles.

ATVs are usually used by military forces on uneven terrains and sport enthusiasts for venturing on various daredevil activities. These vehicles are largely popular in hilly areas and difficult turfs where a normal automobile cannot cope up in traversing smoothly. Indian car majors Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha are also planning to enter this segment with their creations. Interestingly, these aforementioned companies have been selling their ATVs in international markets but are yet to introduce them in India. International brands put a price tag of Rs. 7 lakh – Rs. 30 lakh on their ATVs after these vehicles are levied with 100 per cent import duty. Reports are suggesting that the locally made ATVs will be much more cheaper and easily be purchased by proficient consumers.

Indian government to permit local manufacturing of all-terrain vehicles |
Indian government to permit local manufacturing of all-terrain vehicles

A government official quotes in this regard, “ATVs are basically petrol-based mini-tractor style vehicles which make it easy to travel on undulating planes, but these are not good in terms of fuel efficiency and emissions. This is why we need to come up with emission standards before they can be manufactured in India.” It must be noted that Polaris has been in constant demand by Border Security Forces (BSF) and adventure authorities. Even elite sections of domestic buyers tend to go for such vehicles in a bid to own something exclusive.

On such huge demand, Polaris India's Managing Director, Pankaj Dubey said, “India is a booming market. The concept of off-road vehicles is gaining prominence in the country. Currently we have buyers who fall in class that has top-level luxury cars. However, with the implementation of the new policy, we will be able to reach out to and serve more people.” A noteworthy fact that comes to limelight is that Polaris has already procured a commercial order from coastal police departments of various regions and Gujarat police department. Along with, sources speculate that BSF has been trialling with ATVs in marshy areas since 2012 and have now received sand scooters to patrol in desert areas of Gujarat.

A BSF official commented on this regard by saying, “We have procured four ATVs for use in certain areas of Gujarat that are marshy or slushy since they are particularly good for navigating these kinds of areas. We do not have any tenders for procuring ATVs at the moment.” Experts are of a view that after getting domestically produced, these ATVs will be in reach of diligent buyers as well as niches. The respective companies manufacturing such vehicles will eventually spread their network nationwide and it will be much easy for buyers to connect with these authorities. The coming time would tell how efficient this scheme would be for nations security as well as adventurous sporting.