Tata Declines After Court Bans Diesel Vehicle Registrations

  • Court on Friday halted registrations in New Delhi until Jan. 6
  • Government encouraged not to buy diesel vehicles in the city

Tata Motors Ltd. fell to a two-month low in India trading after the country’s top environmental court temporarily barred registration of new diesel-powered vehicles in New Delhi.

Shares of Tata Motors fell 1.7 percent to the lowest since Oct. 14 in Mumbai. Ashok Leyland Ltd. dropped 0.4 percent. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex index rose 0.4 percent.

The court’s directive, which the nation’s automakers’ group has said could derail the industry, comes as the Delhi state government prepares to restrict the number of cars on its roads by implementing license plate-based driving bans starting Jan. 1. The capital is the country’s biggest auto market, accounting for about 7 percent of national deliveries, according to Pawan Goenka, executive director at Mahindra.

The National Green Tribunal on Friday halted registrations of diesel-engine vehicles in New Delhi until Jan. 6. It asked the Delhi state administration and the federal government to make a “conscientious decision” to not buy diesel-engine vehicles in the city.

The court also directed state-owned companies and all government-related organizations in the municipality to present plans for phasing out diesel vehicles by the time judges consider the case again on Jan. 6.

India’s capital is grappling with rising levels of unclean air as winter sets in, triggering a surge in respiratory diseases. New Delhi was the world’s most polluted city measured by PM2.5 -- tiny, toxic particles that lead to respiratory diseases.

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