Toyota Helps Dealers Hit by Diesel-Car Ban Pay Wages, Cut Stocks

  • India's top court Tuesday refused to lift three-month ban
  • Toyota sells 1,000-1,500 vans, SUVs every month in Delhi

Toyota Motor Corp. said it was supporting its dealers in Delhi after the Supreme Court refused to lift a three-month ban on new diesel-engine cars over 2,000 cubic centimeters in India’s capital.

The company has taken back stocks of unsold cars and will help its dealers with paying wages and interest costs, N. Raja, a director and senior vice-president for sales and marketing, said in an interview Wednesday. Toyota sells 1,000 to 1,500 Innova minivans and Fortuner SUVs every month in the National Capital Region, he said.

India’s top court banned the sale of large diesel cars and sport-utility vehicles in a bid to grapple with hazardous air pollution in Delhi. The Innova and Fortuner account for more than half of Toyota’s deliveries in the nation, and the Delhi region is the largest market for cars in the country.

New Delhi’s poor air quality surpasses even Beijing, which last month suspended schools, restricted car use and banned fireworks and outdoor barbecuing. Levels of PM2.5 -- tiny, toxic particles that lead to respiratory diseases -- have exceeded 600 in the past month or so in India’s capital. That’s about 23 times what the World Health Organization considers to be safe over a 24-hour period.

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