Japanese auto companies Toyaota & Honda seek FTA parity

Japanese carmakers are demanding a me-too status from the government if it decides to lower the duty on imported cars from Europe as part of the India-EU free trade agreement (FTA). 

A lower duty regime for car imports through the FTA has been opposed by domestic players . The India-EU FTA is still under negotiations. 

However, Japanese carmakers-such as Toyota and Honda-are already demanding a reciprocal status if the government gives any space for lower duty on imported cars in the India-EU FTA. Hiroshi Nakagawa , MD of Toyota Kirloskar India, said that Japanese companies will be left at a disadvantage if any decision of the Government came in favour of one regional bloc like Europe. "The same thing should happen in the India-Japan FTA to give a level-playing field. That is the only fair way," Nakagawa said. 

Honda also supported Toyota's decision for a "fair" treatment by the Government in case duty was brought down for imports from Europe. "Everybody should be given a fair chance. If the Government decides to accord lower duty on car imports from Europe, the same should be accorded to Japanese makers," said Jnaneswar Sen, Sr VP (Sales & Marketing ) at Honda Siel Cars. 

Sen also said that the government should consider a lower duty regime for green technology rather than having a lenient view of fuel-guzzling cars. Nakagawa too said that technologies like hybrid should be incentivized.

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