New Delhi: Auto makers often complain about the time and cumbersome procedure involved in readying their cars for the Indian market through a process the industry calls homologation.
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Now, a move by the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (Natrip), a vehicle-testing body, promises to cut the time taken by around one-third.
Starting April, car makers will be able to electronically submit documents needed for homologation. These generally run into thousands of pages and include details on engine specifications such as compression ratios, power output and other details of the vehicle.
At present, the documents must be submitted on paper, which often leads to delays as the homologating authorities may ask for more information at a later stage.
“The main aim behind this is to make sure manufacturers get more transparency and save time,” said Rajesh Singh, Natrip chief executive and project director.
Auto makers would be able to log on and check to see at what stage in the process their vehicle is at.
It takes, on an average, about 90 days to homologate vehicles for the Indian market. Natrip plans to reduce this to 60 days.
Also, for cars on the same platform such as the Swift and Ritz from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, companies would not have to submit documents for common parts all over again.
Initially, Natrip plans to roll out this plan at the International Centre for Automotive Technology (iCAT), located at Manesar in Haryana at a cost of Rs2-3 crore. Most cars in India are homologated at iCAT or the facility of Automotive Research Association of India at Pune.
In recent months, cars such as the Ritz, the Honda Jazz and the Toyota Corolla Altis have been homologated at iCAT.
Car makers have welcomed the move but say that there are other steps that Natrip needs to take to make the process smoother.
“This will definitely help manufacturers in terms of eliminating paperwork, but what we really need is a facility where all tests can be completed,” said I.V. Rao, managing executive officer, engineering, Maruti Suzuki.
For instance, iCAT does not have a test track and cars have to be sent elsewhere for brake testing.
Natrip also plans to link road transport offices around the country to send them data on the vehicles homologated for the Indian market. So far, certificates of homologation have to be sent individually to each such offices, which are authorized to then start registering the cars.
On their part the transport offices, which come under the purview of state governments, will have to be computerized first. At present, they’re fully computerized, besides in New Delhi, only in Andhra Pradesh.
Video by Samar Srivastava