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Alarming Portents

THE NGT MADE A STATEMENT THAT CARS POLLUTE MORE THAN firecrackers, so they should not ban crackers. However, they seem to forget that firecrackers are not a necessity, whereas cars are; for one needs to travel to and from work on a daily basis. The automotive industry is a soft target whenever the subject of pollution comes up. The sales of new cars have been dipping for the past few months and this has made manufacturers cut their production. This is happening after a long period.

Indian manufacturers like Tata Motors and Mahindra have upped their game and now they are making cars that can compete with the international brands. The XUV300 is a prime example. Last month I drove the diesel variant and was truly impressed by it. What impressed me further was the three-cylinder turbo 1,200-cc petrol motor, the way it delivered the power and torque.

The Harrier is another car that is taking Tata Motors forward with its build quality, fit and finish, and design. The Nexon also proved to be one of the safest cars to come out of India with a five-star safety rating by the GNCAP.

The lessons learnt from Formula E are helping the Mahindra Group build the Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. The takeover of international brands such as Jaguar Land Rover by Tata Motors and Ssangyong by Mahindra has helped these companies to share platforms to build world-class cars.

Most people in the world take safety seriously, except those in India. We try to take all the shortcuts possible for our convenience, putting our own lives and those of others at risk at the same time: whether it is going down the wrong way or carrying an infant in the mother’s arms on a two-wheeler or not putting on one’s seat-belt. I fail to understand why we have this aversion to our own safety.



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