Carmakers are anxiously waiting to see how Delhi consumers will react to the odd and even formula — where odd and even numbered cars will be allowed on alternate days — which will come into effect in Delhi from January 1 for two weeks.
However, most carmakers are of initial opinion that it will have no overall impact on the industry. “Directly we don’t see any impact on the auto industry. It could have some positive impact like Delhi government will be under pressure to create better public transport infrastructure so there will be more demand for public buses and taxi services could too get a boost as people may look at car pooling,” said auto industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), director general, Vishnu Mathur.
He said that some people may go for second car to overcome the difficulty imposed by odd and even formula. But Mr Mathur said that he doesn’t think people will immediately go for a second car — to have one with even number and other with odd number — as they are not sure if this kind of policy will continue for a long time. “If this policy is for long term people may go for second (new) car, they may go for (second) used car or buy electric car. We don’t know how customer will react to this we have to wait and watch. But I don’t think a lot of people will buy a second car and if they do, they will probably buy a used car,” said Mr Mathur.
However, he didn’t see it impacting the overall sales of the auto industry. Mr Mathur pointed out that owning a car in India is aspirational and people will continue to aspire to buy car. “People who want to buy a car don’t want it to drive it every day. We need to differentiate between car ownership and car use. A lot of people who buy a car don’t not use it everyday, they are using the Metro or other facilities like cabs,” said Mr Mathur.
Japanese automaker Honda Cars vice-president Janeshwar Sen said that there is no expected impact of new rules on car sales. “Car sales will get impacted only if this restriction is overcome by excellent public transportation system. I don’t know how long that will take but it will not happen very quickly,” said Mr Sen. However, Siam doesn’t believe that odd-even formula will have much of impact in improving the air quality. “I don’t believe that air quality will improve because of this,” said Mr Mathur....