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Changing Trends

The jury round for the Car India Awards was held last month. Most of the jury members have been with us since the first Car India Awards held in 2006. We happened to discuss how the line-up of cars has changed over the years. In the olden days, we would see at least five to six entry-level cars contending for the Automobile of the Year Award. This time all the cars were priced above Rs 5 lakh, most of them above Rs 10 lakh. The small entry-level hatchback car market has almost disappeared. The sport utility vehicle (SUV) body shape is the preferred option for most buyers.

There were quite a few strong contenders for Car India Awards and the Hyundai Exter was adjudged the Automobile of the Year 2024.

The authorities seem to be intent on going all electric and do not want petrol and diesel cars on the roads. That is a far-fetched idea and promoting ethanol as fuel is another invitation to disaster because it is not conducive to the environment. Ethanol is a by-product of sugarcane. As everyone knows, sugar cultivation requires a lot of water. At a time when we are facing severe water shortage in many parts of the country where people do not have enough potable water and are forced to rely on that supplied by tankers, an emphasis on sugarcane cultivation to produce ethanol will prove counter-productive, to say the least.

The call to stop the production of all petrol and diesel cars is another unrealistic idea. Akio Toyoda made a statement of one, six, 90: taking into consideration the amount of raw material required to make one electric, six plug-in hybrid or 90 hybrid cars, the 90 hybrid cars will be cleaner than the lone electric car.


EDITOR – ASPI BHATHENA

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