Hyundai cars are seen ready for shipment at a port in Chennai
Hyundai cars at a port in ChennaiReuters

Sale of small cars in Assam is all set to be resumed after the Guwahati High Court revoked an earlier order banning the same. Vehicles that meet prescribed crash test and emission norms in the country will now be able to hit the roads in the north-eastern state. 

The court issued the order after taking up a petition filed by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) challenging the Assam state transport department's move to ban popular cars. The order will bring relief to leading small car makers such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India. 

"There cannot be any prohibition restricting registration and sale of four-wheelers with a mass of up to 1,500 kg and quadricycles that have undergone the crash and emission tests conforming to the requirements and standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards...and vehicles which have been certified by the statutory authority," the court said in an order on Wednesday, according to The Economic Times.

The ban on launch and sale of small cars in Assam was in response to petitions that sought more stringent safety standards in the state, which consists of many mountainous regions. A crash test like the Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), which is followed in Europe and developed markets, is what the petitioner requested for.

Sale of cars that weigh below 1,500 kg was banned, due to which popular models such as Maruti Suzuki Alto and Swift, Hyundai i10 and Eon, and Honda Jazz took a hit. In tune with this, car sales in Assam fell by up to 60%. 

Currently, the cars in India are required to pass the frontal crash test norms and a new more stringent crash test and pedestrian safety standards has been proposed, which if passed will come into effect from 2017.

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