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NGT slaps Rs 500 cr fine on Volkswagen; company to challenge order

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed a Rs 500 crore penalty on German automaker Volkswagen for using a “cheat device” in its diesel cars to deceive emission tests.

However, the company said that it will challenge the order in the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, the Tribunal ordered the company to deposit the amount within two months.
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An NGT-appointed committee had earlier recommended a penalty of Rs 171.34 crore, which the bench enhanced in its Thursday order.

Volkswagen, however, said that it did not violate the Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) emission norms and that the results were based on “on-road testings” for which there were no prescribed standards.

The Bharat Stage are government instituted standards to regulate emission of air pollutants from motor vehicles.

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The bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “Sustainable development is the main guiding factor… We are unable to accept the manufacturer’s objections to the report.”

The bench passed the order on a petition moved by Delhi-based teacher Saloni Ailawadi.

A Volkswagen Group India spokesperson said: “The Volkswagen Group in India reiterates that all cars from the Group are compliant with the emission norms defined in India. The group awaits the copy of the order of the NGT.”

“The Volkswagen Group will challenge the order of the Honourable NGT before the Supreme Court.”

Automobile

2 Lakh jobs cut in Automobile sector

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New Delhi: Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) claims that around 2 lakh jobs will be cut across Automobile Industry in last 3 months. “The majority of job cuts have happened in the last three months. It started around May and continued through June and July,” FADA president Ashish Harsharaj Kale.

With no immediate signs of recovery, FADA says that more jobs may have to be cut down because of constant shutting down of the Automobile Dealership centers. The main reason behind this is the cut down of sales in past three months.

According to Ashish Harsharaj, the two lakh jobs cuts in the last three months are over and above the 32,000 people who lost employment when 286 showrooms were closed across 271 cities in the 18-month period which ended in April this year.

Around 2.5 million people were employed directly through around 26,000 automobile showrooms operated by 15,000 dealers. Another 2.5 million are indirectly employed in the dealership ecosystem, Ashish added.

As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) figures, vehicle wholesale across all categories declined by 12.35% to 60,85,406 units in April-June against 69,42,742 units in same period of last year. Passenger vehicles (PV) segment has been the worst hit with sales continuing to decline for almost a year now. In July, market leader Maruti Suzuki reported a 36.3% drop in its domestic PV wholesales, while Hyundai saw a dip of 10%. M&M sales were down 16%, Tata Motors’ PV sales fell 31% while that of Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) also came down 48.67% during the month.

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