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Old 27th August 2013, 19:12   #1
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Default Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

As per ACI's latest article...

http://www.autocarindia.com/auto-new...ly-354885.aspx

... the Indian Government has taken note of automobile manufacturers circumventing the recent SUV tax, & has the intention of making changes in the same to ensure that vehicles like XUV500, Bolero, etc (since M&M had devised the way to avoid SUV Tax) are taxed as SUV's & not under the rate applicable for cars.

Under the new regulation, ground clearance will be measured from the lowest point on the unladen vehicle, unlike measuring the same in a fully laden condition under current methodology.

However, this will not just affect M&M, but all MUV makers as well, if the ground clearance of the unladen vehicle is 170mm or more.

Quote:
“If this new regulation comes in we won’t be able to modify our cars and will just have to accept the SUV tax” says Dr Pawan Goenka, president of M&M. “We will have to pass on the additional cost to customer” he adds.
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Old 27th August 2013, 19:26   #2
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Oh no! You gotta hand it to our babu's they surely implement ways to make money and push the policies faster. Too bad for mahindra, this is happening when the auto industry is at an all time low. There are so many problems plaguing our country and this gets implemented first. Lol, our neta's are surely pushing the Indian auto sentiment down even further.
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Old 27th August 2013, 19:49   #3
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

The government hits back. This is going to back and forth for a very long time.

This 170mm is only going to affect the XUV which is straddling in the middle. There is no way they can fix a Storme or Scorpio to fall below this criteria.
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Old 27th August 2013, 19:56   #4
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

Manufacturers should start making sedans that have GC and off-road capability of a SUV now. Or add three rows of seats to a sedan and not call it an MUV (perhaps like the Tesla).
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Old 27th August 2013, 21:29   #5
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

The government is really not bothered about whether any one including the manufacturer makes money or not. They just do things their way to keep their pockets full.
Many manufacturers had clearly pointed out that there is no long term policy in India. If regulations are going to be changed every few months how do they expect manufacturers to come up with new designs and a long term product strategy?
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Old 28th August 2013, 08:32   #6
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

They should be taxing cars based on fuel consumption, not ground cearance
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Old 28th August 2013, 08:51   #7
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
They should be taxing cars based on fuel consumption, not ground clearance
I dont think it should be either.

There is completely no logic behind ground clearance being a factor in tax. How is a taller vehicle doing more damage to the environment or anything else for that matter to warrant an extra tax??

As for taxing cars based on fuel consumption, dont we already have it?? India already taxes fuels pretty heavily. So effectively the cars with lower fuel consumption pay more taxes compared to the cars with better fuel consumption. What is needed is the removal of subsidy in diesel fuel, so that high fuel consumption SUVs are appropriately taxed. With diesel being subsidised, diesel guzzling cars get away with paying lower taxes on fuel compared to petrol powered ones.

But in this case I am not completely against the govt mending the rules to prevent loopholes in an existing policy. Mahindra should respect the govt's policy, even if they think it is wrong. They should express their displeasure towards it and even lobby to get it removed. But circumventing it in the way they did was wrong in my view.
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Old 28th August 2013, 09:14   #8
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

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They should be taxing cars based on fuel consumption, not ground cearance
well, that could help in reducing oil consumption and current account deficit.
But SUV definition should have more balanced criteria - rather than GC, height and width of the vehicle and passenger carrying capacity is a more precise way for identifying SUV, MUV etc.
Current rules with length and GC are ridiculous. My Lancer has a GC of 185mm and there is no reason why it should fall onto such a bracket!

Last edited by lancer_rit : 28th August 2013 at 09:16.
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Old 28th August 2013, 09:19   #9
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

I respect the fact that from their eyes, they're trying to promote hatchbacks, which they feel, consume less fuel and occupy less space than similar-sized SUV's and sedans. However, this is completely wrong and I feel that our Govt. needs to be taught a thing or two about automobiles. If a vehicle is tall, then does it mean it's a gas guzzler and occupies more space on road? I don't think so! With advancement in technology, most manufacturers can reduce the fuel consumption of their vehicles, irresepective of body style! In Europe, the method of taxation is based on grams of emissions per kilometre on road and this is understandable. I feel this is a good way to rate and tax vehicles. Ground-Clearance and Fuel-Efficiency have no relation to each other. Unfortunately, our Govt. thinks the opposite!

I guess it's the time to buy a fortuner now!

Keep revvin'
S@ndy

Last edited by S@ndy : 28th August 2013 at 09:20.
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Old 28th August 2013, 15:36   #10
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

So if the mfr fixes a diff guard, the GC can be reduced. So owner gets more protection for offroad vehicle, and manufacturer can price the vehicle lower.
Silly regulations, but then anything expecting anything wise from the govt is even sillier.
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Old 28th August 2013, 16:18   #11
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
So if the mfr fixes a diff guard, the GC can be reduced. So owner gets more protection for offroad vehicle, and manufacturer can price the vehicle lower.
Silly regulations, but then anything expecting anything wise from the govt is even sillier.
Yes, I would fashion a cheap 500 rs "sump guard" from plastic if I were M&M. It would be a standard 5 min gratis job at any ASC to remove it later

Yet another babu-dom fail!

Funny part is that instead of encouraging high GC vehicles given how terrible many Indian roads (esp Gurgaon!!) are - they are taxing them. First they give us terrible roads, and then they tax us for buying vehicles that handle the roads a wee bit better! (a la the Linea falling under the tax net!).

This happens only in India!
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Old 28th August 2013, 18:20   #12
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

How about taxing based on safety ratings, emissions or efficiency? Why don't they start thinking on those lines?

Last edited by pacman2881 : 28th August 2013 at 18:22.
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Old 28th August 2013, 18:43   #13
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Default re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Yes, I would fashion a cheap 500 rs "sump guard" from plastic if I were M&M. It would be a standard 5 min gratis job at any ASC to remove it later

Yet another babu-dom fail!
Brilliant idea! I guess you can sell it to them and make a quick buck!

Coming back to the topic, what about vehicles with adaptive suspension? Will they check the highest setting or the lowest?

And what about those who upscale their tyres and cross the magic figure of 170 mm? Are we going to see a 6-montly GC certificate soon, akin to the Pollution certificate?

Last edited by vnabhi : 28th August 2013 at 18:45.
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Old 28th August 2013, 19:46   #14
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Default Re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

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Originally Posted by pacman2881 View Post
How about taxing based on safety ratings, emissions or efficiency? Why don't they start thinking on those lines?
Because the babus are either a populist bunch of idiots who don't have common sense or are driven by their political overlords.

You are absolutely right and instead of encouraging the market to invest in the right technologies or sell safer cars - the government's motives are populist ("tax the guy with the bigger car much more!") and fuzzy at best.

I wish our government had the sense, but alas.
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Old 28th August 2013, 20:13   #15
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Default Re: Ground Clearance measurement rules for vehicles (SUVs) to change

Having GC a criteria for UV's is a convoluted way of taxing, what the govt as I understand, wants to achieve, is to dissuade people from buying large fuel guzzlers, which to my mind they are already doing in a way by moving in the direction of free pricing regime for diesel Having such baseless rules only switches on the innovative thought process . I happened to be discussing this with a friend of mine about a week after this law came into force and this guy seemed to have a solution for this.
He said " If I were Tata or M&M, I would simply have a hard plastic component that I would innovatively call a shield or protector and this will be 168 MM from the ground, in reality this would be a vestigial part and customers can afford to scrape them on the road and eventually loose them, they get the excise break and manufacturers need not modify their vehicles to suit the law !!!- This is innovation the native Indian way- Brilliant , cost effective...up North they call it Jugad
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