Mercedes-Benz asks SC to lift ban on diesel cars
Mercedes-Benz asks SC to lift ban on diesel cars

Automobile giant Mercedes-Benz has moved the Supreme Court asking for the ban on diesel vehicles to be lifted. The German car manufacturing firm said it was ready to pay the environmental cess of 1% levied on the sale of diesel cars.

This move by Mercedes comes as a bid to get the ban on registration of cars with engines bigger than 2000cc lifted.

The apex court will hear the matter on Friday.

In December 2015, the NGT had banned the registration of all new diesel vehicles with over 2,000cc engine or diesel cars with more than 10 years plying on roads, in order to curb the rising pollution in Delhi-NCR. Mercedes-Benz was affected significantly by this ruling as most diesel vehicles in its portfolio are powered by engines larger than 2,000 cc.

As an impact of the diesel cars bans, Mercedes-Benz India registered low sales last month. The car manufacturer has also decided to hold its investment plan in wake of the diesel ban and the policy uncertainty around diesel in the future.
Recently, the company also announced that it'll soon add petrol variants to all its models on sale in the country. This should help the company offset some of the loss of sales due to the ban on its diesel vehicles in certain parts of the country.

Besides Mercedes-Benz India, car manufacturers like Toyota, Mahindra and Mahindra are also hit by the diesel cars ban orders. Mahindra had responded to the ban by downsizing its diesel engines to under 2,000 cc, allowing it to sell vehicles. 

Meanwhile, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) for the National Capital Region (NCR) has recommended a green cess of 20-22% on diesel vehicles.

The appeal by Mercedes on Monday is seen as a response to the environment panel’s steep cess recommendation.


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