With cars largely perceived as a status symbol in India and the newfound likeness towards utility vehicles, it’s not uncommon to see a single person driving around in a large car. Not only that adds to the traffic on roads but the overall pollution levels as well. Calling this out, Pawan Goenka, Mahindra & Mahindra, Managing Director, said that Indians weighing 65-70 kg use an entire 1500 kg car to travel individually, hinting at the wastage of resources that go into making the big car move, according to a report by PTI. Goenka was speaking at an alumni event organised by his alma mater IIT-Kanpur recently.
“We need to have personal transport that is more tuned to moving a single person,” he said,
Goenka also spoke about how it was unfortunate that the Tata Nano failed to meet expectations. The Nano was built as an entry-level car for the aspiring middle-class. However, the 600 cc four-wheeler was seen as a cheap alternative to other hatchbacks with the ₹ 1 lakh pricing strategy failing get the numbers going for Tata Motors.
“It is very unfortunate that nano didn’t do very well,” Goenka said.
In essence though, the Tata Nano made for a small-yet-peppy city runabout that did well on space, comfort and cost of ownership. However, in a market where cars are still seen as lifestyle accessories, the most affordable car pitch failed to leave an impression.
Goenka also spoke conceded that the automobile industry does add to pollution, and pitched for adopting all the means to reduce it. He said that automobiles at present contribute seven per cent of the carbon dioxide and a fifth of the particulate matter PM 2.5. Every effort should be made to reduce the impact, he said.
He further said that Mahindra plans to introduce a smaller car keeping the requirements of a less people to commute. Mahindra showcased the Atom quadricycle at the recently concluded 2020 Auto Expo. The new electric model is an entry-level passenger mover and can be used for small distance commutes.
Adding further, Goenka said that India is about five years behind China in EV development, but can lead the world on a research and development as well as production front. There have been a number of electric vehicle start-ups showing up. In 2019, only 1400 electric cars were sold in India and is a small percentage of the global demand.
The auto sector will have to play a crucial role in the overall economic development of the country, he was quoted in the report. The manufacturing sector has to contribute $1 trillion if the economy wants to be a $5 trillion GDP. The auto sector will have to grow at a CAGR of 14 per cent for five years, Goenka added further.
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