The pandemic has devastated the automobile sector and the industry is looking for a new ray of hope. In the meantime, the Centre has introduced a Scrappage Policy to promote electric vehicles (EVs) to create a pollution-free environment. During an interaction with Orissa POSTAbinash Samal, Managing Director of Tata Motors (Commercial Vehicle Division), MG Motors, Jaguar and Land Rover, shared his views on the impact of the pandemic, benefits of the policy and the future of EVs.

How has the pandemic affected the supply chain of automobiles?

The supply chain system has been greatly affected due to the pandemic – both sales and after-sales are suffering. Logistics have been affected adversely as three of our major brands are based out of India and there are shortfalls every month. We thank our customers for their understanding and we are trying to increase our efficiency and address the shortfalls in the coming months as things normalize.

Your take on the new Scrappage Policy?

We welcome the government’s initiative to clear our roads of the unfit for road vehicles which is part of the new Scrappage Policy. We believe that modern cars and engines today are much more efficient and environment-friendly having 20 years of ageing. Also, this is an organised method to ensure safe recycling of hazardous wastes.

How do you see the future of EVs?

As we often say in our team “The future is exciting, the future is electric”. The way ahead for automobiles in a clean and efficient future is the electric way out. Our brands Jaguar and Morris Garages have both launched all electric battery vehicles in their product lineup. Both the vehicles boast of 400 plus kms of travel on a single charge with features equal to any ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car that is available by any leading automobile manufacturer in the market.

Launching EVs and sustaining the ownership of an EV are two separate challenges today, aren’t they?

Not really. Because, with each passing day, we see the Central government and state governments are rolling out new schemes for EVs. This is encouraging and it shows the seriousness of EV and its importance for a cleaner and efficient future. We are currently identifying locations within Odisha and the twin cities of Bhubaneswar & Cuttack to set up EV charging terminals. With states like UP, Goa and NCR waiving off registration charges for new EVs, we expect similar steps from Odisha government to promote the EVs.

Special roadmap for 2021

What 2020 has taught us is to stay prepared for adverse situations. We have kept the challenges of the pandemic on the back foot and are looking ahead with positivity and optimism towards the New Year. We have consistently maintained a top position in the SUV market in the higher relevant segment and will continue to strive to keep the leadership and our valuable customers happy.

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