Governmental delays quadricycle drive, as car companies seek 6 months to 3 years time

Monday 23 September 2013, 12:09 PM by

Customers might just have to wait for sometime to see the introduction of quadricycle in the country as government is more likely to take some extra time for addressing opposition and expressed concerns of car companies like Tata Motors, TVS and Maruti Suzuki. Notably, the top chunk of these car companies, on 21st September, 2013, requested the transport minister Oscar Fernandes to allow more time for addressing this. The duration which we are talking here about ranges from 6 months to 3 years in order to start the manufacturing of quadricycle. Earlier, the transport ministry was planning to introduce quadricycle from the very next month.

It must be said that Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry and Tata Motors Managing Director Karl Slym had strongly opposed the government's move to introduce quadricycle early in the market. Both seemed to favour the idea that implications of this move will have a severe impact on the auto sector and that this new vehicle might just hit the interest of small car manufactures in India. Notably, such an opposition has been made taking into account the depressed market conditions. The passenger car sales have been hit a big time since past ten months and even with the arrival of the festive season, a strong reluctance prevails in the domestic market. The major car companies are already severed by this market crisis and try hard to keep up the business and profit lines. And if under such vicious circumstances, a quadricycle is introduced in the Indian automobile market, then consequences would be quite extreme and far from accurate prediction. It must be noted here that quadricycle will be smaller than a compact car but bigger than an auto-rickshaw.

Besides interest hits, both, Mistry and Slym highlighted that the vehicle in its proposed form is quite far from meeting the safety and pollution standards. According to a report, the country witnesses about 1.4 lakh road deaths per year. So, a decision to introduce an unsafe vehicle does not look sane at all. Furthermore, referring to the safety and security aspects of the proposed quadricycle, Slym mentioned that till now, no crash test report card is available to back this vehicle.

As per some ministry officials TVS represented by its Chief Executive Officer KN Radhakrsihan, had also raised the concern about safeguards of the quadricycle and that it does not meet the European emission norms. The auto major also expressively mentioned about the wide scope for improvements. Amid strong oppositions, only Bajaj Auto and Mahindra & Mahindra had favoured the government's proposal, but not before the latter emphasised on the implementation of higher safety standards in the vehicle. Notably, the quadricycle is more likely to be introduced as a superior vehicle than a three-wheeler. Hence, safety measures just can not be ignored under any circumstances. Mahindra & Mahindra, represented by its president (automotive) Pawan Goenka, said, "We will consider these objections and suggestions before coming out with the notification."

City's transport commissioner Puneet Goel also seemed to be favouring the concern raised by various auto companies. He said that breakdowns are one of the major factors that lead to everyday traffic jams in the Capital. Such a vehicle is more likely to aggravate the congestion issue that persists in a city like Delhi. He also emphasised that the vehicle should be powered by features that could effectively negate the issue of breakdowns to reduce on-road congestion.

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