Dr Pawan Goenka: 'India Auto Inc needs to market itself and not be defensive.'

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 28 Apr 2021


It’s a year since India leapfrogged to stringent BS VI norms but the emission milestones don’t end there. While the industry is trying to grapple through the double whammy of a long slowdown cycle coupled with Covid-19, the deadline for the next emission norm is looming close. Discussions are rife about the economic rationale of implementing BS VI Stage II next year and the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy ) norms in 2023, without even being able to recover the massive investment for BS VI.

This is exactly why at Autocar Professional, we decided it is an ideal time to pause, look back on the year that went by and discuss the emission roadmap (RDE, CAFE, BS VII, fuel types) and the technologies, powertrains and strategies needed to comply with them to help the Indian automotive industry become greener. With these objectives, we are hosting a two-day virtual conference titled ‘Meeting Emission Challenges’, on April 28 and April 29 from 9:45 am to 2.00 pm. 

Today, industry doyen Dr Pawan Goenka, former MD, Mahindra & Mahindra and former president of SIAM, delivered the keynote address and set the tone for the discussion. He lauded the industry for meeting the BS VI deadline in a record time. He highlighted that the “seven-year gap between BS III and BS IV made the task of meeting BS VI in three years a lot more challenging.”

According to him, time is again a key challenge in meeting and preparedness for BS VI stage II but the country needs to consider the cost-benefit ratio of meeting the next emission norm,

“I am proud of what India Auto Inc has achieved in the past 20 years.

- A supplier ecosystem as strong as anyone else.

- Product quality that of global standards.

- Product development advances. Indian automakers can develop absolutely everything in-house."

Long-term roadmap vital

The industry veteran with 40 years of experience pointed out the urgent need for industry to have a long-term emission norms roadmap. “India is among the top five GDP countries, which indicates that India’s growth is closely linked to the growth in the automotive industry. However, industry players still need to improve on the quality side compared to Korea, Japan and Germany to become world class. Local value addition, improvement in technology and exports are other key areas of focus.”

However, he added that exports have been a major challenge due to “unfavourable FTAs a key challenge for auto exports from India. GST rationalisation is important. We need to revisit the Automotive Mission Plan 2026 and have a target of becoming a $200 billion (Rs 1,480,200 crore) industry and $50 billion (Rs 37,0050 crore) exports by 2026.”

Register for Day 2 of Autocar Professional's Virtual Conference on April 29