Best Of The Week : Recap

From Hyundai’s upcoming new Santa Fe to zero registration charges on electric cars, we bring you a compilation of the best of stories from last week.

1. Best Of The Week: Import duty revised on imported vehicles

BMW F 750 GS & F 850 GS Launch

The Indian government revised the customs duty on imported vehicles affecting a big part of the auto market. The premium bikes imported as a completely built unit (CBU) powered by 800cc or less engine used to carry 60% import duty and the ones with more than 800cc engine would attract 75% customs fee. The customs fee for both was revised to 50%. Whether this discount will be shared with the customers, we don’t know yet as none of the automakers that import their bikes as CBU have issued a press release featuring their latest price list yet. The automakers that assemble their vehicle here like Volkswagen group, Honda, Triumph, Harley Davidson etc. were slapped with additional 5% duty with the CKD customs duty now amounting to a total of 15%. This move is completely unjust as the government’s policies are already strict for these automakers in terms of mandatory localised production percent with respect to time. For eg., BMW started with 20% localisation when it started its operations here and last year they announced 50% localisation of their CKD offerings. We condemn the move to hurt the very automakers that have invested millions of Dollars here. Feel free to share your views in the comments below.

2. Best Of The Week: Tata Nexon Aero Edition Launched – Ranging from INR 30k to INR 61K

Tata Nexon Aero Edition

Tata Nexon Aero Edition was showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo. The customers get to choose from 3 levels of levels customisation. The Aero Kit can be ordered on XE, XM, XT, XZ and XZ+ variants. The basic kits cost INR 30,601 and offer bumper corner protectors, side skirts, Aero badge and front fog lamp garnish. The Level 3 variant will set you back INR 61,574 and would include the complete body kit, front fog lamp garnish, Aero Badge, Aero and Dicky carpets, red ORVM covers, illuminated scuff plates, Aero seat covers and red rim-bands. Honestly, these kits look overpriced for what they offer. Even spending INR 30,000 on something that offers nothing except for a desperate attempt at looking cool is not worth the amount. I think Tata should have otherwise improvised and offered various versions of the Nexon like a city version with car air filter, car vacuum cleaner, car cover. Another version I can think of is the off-road version with all-terrain tyres, an extra plastic cladding around the vehicle, electric pump for emergencies etc. Another one could be a traveller edition with a roof rack with LED light bar, upgraded infotainment system with maps etc. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

3. Best Of The Week: Maharashtra Government exempted all-electric vehicles from Road Tax and Registration Fee

The Indian government under the majority of BJP wanted to promote renewable energy and was making huge investments in the field. In another half-baked attempt, the Indian Government got over excited and claimed to completely shift to electric cars by 2030. Continuing their over-excitement, the government offered a tender for 10,000 electric cars that were bagged by Mahindra and Tata. Every major automaker in India announced their plans to manufacture electric cars including Suzuki, Hyundai amongst others. A couple of weeks back, the same government took a U-turn and announced that they will not offer any policy or incentive in favour of electric vehicles in the nation. So while the government enjoys travelling in spanking new cars, we continue to pay more taxes so the government can buy themselves new cars. The cars to be delivered include the Mahindra e-Verito and Tata Tigor EV. While the latter hasn’t hit the market yet, the former retails for INR 10.97 for the base model on-road in Bengaluru. Say Mahindra will deliver 5,000 e-Verito(s) to the government, that amounts to a whopping INR 548.5 crores! That’s half the tender. I think the government should’ve invested better as the suspected tender amount would’ve offered INR 1 lakh discount for over 1 lakh electric vehicles. There is a good news from Maharashtra where the government exempted all-electric vehicles from paying Road Tax and Registration Fee. In Mumbai for example, the vehicles costing up to 10 lakhs have to pay 11% to 13% registration fees. Considering the same in case of the e-Verito, the customers will enjoy a discount of over INR 1.2 lakh. Do you agree with the government’s decision, share in the comments below.

4. Best Of The Week: Maruti Suzuki SHVS subsidies under question, NGT seeks a response.

maruti shvs

An independent lawyer filed an RTI plea questioning the legality of subsidies provided to Maruti Suzuki’s SHVS models. Ertiga and Ciaz’s diesel models enjoyed a subsidy of INR 13,000 on their SHVS models. The subsidies were given under the government’s FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles) scheme. The SHVS system in the Maruti Suzuki vehicles offered improved efficiency via the inclusion of Auto Start-Stop, brake energy regeneration and an electric motor to provide an extra boost when required. However, the electric motor cannot power the car individually. Considering an average person can push a car up to the speed of 3-5 kph, the motor delivers even lesser torque than an actual human. Is that amount of additional power be even considered a ‘boost’. Perhaps this is the reason why the lawyer filed the plea after effects of which, the subsidy was recalled effective immediately. The subsidies, solely enjoyed by one manufacturer, have amounted to INR 95 crores till date. The lawyer has asked NGT to direct Maruti Suzuki to deposit the claimed subsidies back to the Ministry of Heavy Industries. Were the subsidies legal? If so, why did only one automaker enjoyed a major share? We would love to know your views on the same, keep posting comments below.

5. Best Of The Week: Tata H5X Prototype spied for the first time

Tata H5X SUV Spyshots 5

Our friends at Autocar India shared the first ever spy shots of the much awaited upcoming SUV by Tata. To be based on the Land Rover Discovery Sport’s platform, the upcoming Tata SUV will be offered in both 5-seater and 7-seater configurations. In the spy shots, we can clearly notice that the headlights have changed from the sleek design on the H5X concept to the ones that the discovery sport carries. Last year, a prototype of the upcoming SUV was spotted undergoing testing under a Discovery Sport’s body. Perhaps this is the same prototype hence featuring the Discovery Sport’s headlights. The sloping roofline from the concept is absent and taking its place is a high-set shoulder line. The interiors look roomy and are expected to feature dual-tone dashboard and premium materials. Click on the heading above to read more about the upcoming SUV from Tata.

6. Best Of The Week: BS-VI grade fuel to be available in Delhi NCR starting April 1, 2018

BS-VI Grade Fuel

The central government has informed the Supreme Court that the BS-VI grade fuel will be available in the Near Capital Region (NCR) starting April 1, 2018. This move comes in when the Northern part of India is suffering from high pollution levels. The BS-VI grade fuel promises cleaner emissions but only if the vehicles are BS-VI compliant as well. Certain automakers like Volkswagen have invested in the R&D to convert their BS-VI compliant vehicles to BD-IV compliant because of the inferior quality of fuel is available in the nation. If BS-VI grade fuel is rolled out early, such automaker’s investment will go in vain. How big is the shift from BS-IV to BS-VI, click on the heading to find out.

7. Best Of The Week: The all-new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe launched in South Korea

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Front Profile

The all-new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has been launched in South Korea. The SUV will be launched in India by the end of 2019. The new Santa Fe comes with an XL version featuring 7 seats. The new SUV from Hyundai features sharp styling with slim headlights and pronounced fog lamp assembly. The interiors feature dual tone dashboard, plush interiors and premium materials all around. The 2018 Santa Fe gets a new diesel engine in the form of a 2.2-litre unit good for 200 bhp of power. The engine comes mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Want to know all about the upcoming SUV from Hyundai, simply click the heading.

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Image Credits : Autocar India, Autocar India