Indian carmaker Mahindra, best known for its utility vehicles, has hinted that prices of cars sold in India will increase significantly by 2020 as the country marches forward with new and more stringent safety and emission norms for passenger vehicles.
According to Autocar, Pawan Goenka, MD of Mahindra & Mahindra, stated that the upcoming crash test norms as part of the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP), which goes into effect on October 1, 2018 for new cars and two years later for every car on sale in India, would send prices of vehicles up as manufacturers upgrade their vehicles to meet the latest vehicle safety standards.
Goenka also stated that to meet the BS VI emission norms that come into effect on April 1, 2020, carmakers might increase prices again to help meet the investment needed to upgrade vehicles to the more stringent environmental protection norms. Goenka also stated that Mahindra may also drop one or two low-volume cars from its line-up instead of upgrading them to meet the new safety and emission norms in place in 2020. Goenka, however, insisted that there would be no impact on its more in-demand vehicles.
While the cost of upgrading to the upcoming safety norms will affect every carmaker equally, the BS-VI emission norms will affect carmakers like Mahindra more due to their rather heavy reliance on diesel-powered models. Conversion to the stringent BS-VI emission norms will be more expensive for diesel-powered cars and SUVs, with new vehicles requiring the fitment of catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters to deal with harmful gases being exhausted by these vehicles.
Mahindra, meanwhile, is set to introduce 3 new vehicles into its line-up in the form of the S201 compact SUV (a rival for the Maruti Vitara Brezza), the Marazzo MPV (which will take on the Toyota Innova) and the Toyota Fortuner baiting XUV700 SUV, its largest passenger vehicle for the general till date. The S201, Marazzo, and the XUV700 (recently showcased in an event in Mumbai) are all expected to launch around the time of the festive season. As for the vehicles that will be leaving the Mahindra portfolio by 2020, the whispers doing the rounds suggest that the Verito and NuvoSport could be the ones facing the axe.