New Delhi: The huge discounts offered by the two-wheeler manufacturers to clear their BS-III vehicles before April 1 seems to have been a massive success with the customers across the country. Reports suggest that the companies have been able to clear their entire inventories that could have gone useless, had the companies not sold them by April 1.
In less than two days’ time the two-wheeler manufacturers were able to sell as many as 650,000 Bharat Stage-III compliant two-wheelers. They were forced to give huge discount to attract customers as Supreme Court had delivered a judgment saying that auto makers cannot sell such vehicles after 1 April.
Around twelve hours before the deadline arrived, Nikunj Sanghi, a dealer for Hero MotoCorp Ltd and also a past president of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations said “I believe 90% of BS-III stock has been sold…Our shops are closed. In Jaipur, we had to ask for police protection”.
Reports suggest that the apex court’s order for the sudden ban on sale of BS-III had come a s a huge shock for makers and distributors of bikes in the country. The apex court banned the sale of the bikes not compliant with BS-IV emission standards from 1 April, leaving them with just two days in which to dispose of hundreds of thousands of BS-III vehicles.
The two-wheelers offered massive discounts on their products. Hero MotoCorp, the largest two-wheeler maker in the country offered benefits up to Rs12,500, including free insurance and cash discounts, on its range of scooters and motorcycles, as per the advertisements and a circular issued to dealers. Discounts at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Ltd (HMSI), the country’s second largest two-wheeler seller, were even steeper. The local arm of the Japanese two-wheeler maker offered a cash discount of up to Rs22,000 on its BS-III scooters and motorcycles.
Those bikes that are in great demand in the market were up for sale at huge discounts, prompting a mad rush from two-wheeler fans. Pune-based Bajaj Auto Ltd also offered discounts up to Rs13,000 on bikes such as Pulsar, Avenger, Discover, Platina, and CT 100. According to a submission made by lobby Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) in the Supreme Court on 20 January, the industry had around 820,000 units of two-wheelers, commercial vehicles, both small and large, passenger vehicles and three-wheelers, in various stages of inventory clearance.
With the introduction of BS-IV norms, BS-III vehicles have become rather unsafe to drive on roads due to high pollution levels they cause. have also been in practice since 2010 in 13 major cities. Now, it will be followed nationwide. In order to comply with the BSIV norms, 2- and 3-wheeler manufacturers will have to fit an evaporative emission control unit, which should lower the amount of fuel that is evaporated when the motorcycle is parked. BS IV standards introduced several new requirements, including tightened NOx+HC emission limits, harmonization of the emission testing cycle and the definition of motorcycle classes with the UNECE Global Technical Regulation 2 (GTR-2).