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Festive Respite?

THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY has been witnessing a steady decline month on month. In October 2019, though, there would have been a slight growth on account of the festive season, but it will still be lower as compared to the same period last year. It is going to be very tricky for the manufacturers with the slowdown because they don’t know how many cars of the BS-IV version they will be able to sell. If they are not able to clear the stock before 31 March 2020, they will have to offer heavy discounts or scrap the leftover cars. Imagine trying to sell the more expensive BS-VI car when they are struggling to sell BS-IV cars even with generous discounts.

There are two thought processes: one that holds that electric cars are the future and the second that the hydrogen fuel cell is the technology for the future. However, it is the interim technology that will help a smooth transition from IC engines and that is hybrid. The best technology as of now is the plug-in hybrid, because the new plug-in hybrids emit nearly zero NOx and CO2. Moreover, these cars deliver nearly 100 km/l, which is better than the most fuel-efficient 100-cc motorcycles.

This month we drove the new S-presso entry-level car from Maruti Suzuki and I can say that the small cars have come a long way in terms of design, safety equipment, suspension, and ride quality. Maruti are trying to cash in on the SUV fad by making the S-presso look like an SUV. It is reassuring to see that now even an entry-level car comes with an airbag and ABS.


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