Tata Motors may phase out small diesel cars from its portfolio as demand is expected to slow down due to upcoming BS-VI emission norms that would make such vehicles expensive, according to a senior company official. Market leader Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has stated that it would discontinue diesel models from April 1, 2020, when the BS-VI norms kick in, as it expects the increased cost would put most of the diesel cars, especially the smaller ones, out of reach of small car buyers. Tata Motors currently sells its entry-level hatchback Tiago with 1-litre diesel engine, compact sedan Tigor with 1.05-litre powertrain and older models like the Bolt and Zest with a 1.3-litre diesel engine. “We feel that low demand for entry- and mid-size diesel models will not justify the high costs involved in developing a new small capacity engine,” Tata Motors president passenger vehicles business unit Mayank Pareek said. Moreover, around 80% of the demand in the said segment is for petrol variants, and thus, the additional required investment does not seem viable, he added.
Indian pharma bags 9% more USFDA nods
Indian pharmaceutical firms received 372 approvals to launch generic drugs in the US in fiscal 2019, up 8.6% from 340 in the previous year. The development comes even as India got 15 warning letters in calendar 2018, lower than the US with 19, and China which topped the list with 24 warning letters. As against this, India had the ignominious distinction of topping the list with 9 warning letters in 2015, and has since appeared to have cleaned up its act. In terms of approvals, Zydus Cadila topped the list with 60, with Indian companies cornering around 40% volume share in the $60-billion-plus US generic market. Indian generic filings have been rising year-on-year, unfazed by regulatory pressure from the USFDA, and a spate of warning letters issued to their facilities over the last couple of years. Over 2015-17, Indian companies faced intense regulatory glare from the US, with nearly all top companies having been issued warning letters over manufacturing violations at their plants. This seems to have changed last year with fewer warning letters for Indian companies.
Factory activity at 8-month low in April
Activity in India’s factories expanded at their slowest pace in eight months due to slowing new orders, adding to the anxiety of policymakers in the midst of national elections. The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined from 52.6 in March to 51.8 in April. The 50 point mark separates expansion from contraction. The PMI is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in over 400 industrial companies. The results of the survey come against the backdrop of a spate of data which points to slowdown in some key sectors of the economy. Passenger cars sales have slowed down and data from the auto industry in the past few months have pointed to a slowdown. Latest data showed that industrial output growth in February slowed to 20 month low of 0.1%. “Although remaining inside expansion territory, growth continued to soften and the fact that employment increased at the weakest pace for over a year suggests that producers are hardly gearing up for a rebound,” Pollyanna De Lima, principal economist at IHS Markit, said.