Auto dealers are in a rush to clear out their existing stock of motorbikes and commercial vehicles by the end of Friday, before the new emission regulations come into effect. Apart from huge discounts, a few manufacturers are also offering free insurance coverage. The Supreme Court on Wednesday had said that the sale and registration of vehicles with Bharat State III emission norms will be banned from April 1 when the BS-IV norms are rolled out.
There are around six lakh unsold BS-III compliant two-wheelers. The country’s biggest two-wheeler maker Hero Motocorp has slashed prices by almost Rs 12,500. Besides, each of their BS-III complaint bikes now comes with a free insurance. Similarly, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India are offering discounts of up to Rs 10,000. However, a dealer in Bengaluru told The New Indian Express that discounts are not being decided by them. “Companies are intimating customers through SMSes,” he told the daily.
Bajaj Auto, on the other hand, is planning to export their unsold stock. “It is easy for us to export because we have a huge export market. Whatever is left over should be manageable for us,” S Ravikumar, president (Business Development and Assurance) of Bajaj Auto, told The Times of India. Ravikumar, however, added that the company has not yet decided and is also considering making changes to their vehicles to make those compliant with the new emission norms.
According to the Auto Fuel Policy, BS-IV norms will be adopted in the country by 2017. The top court’s ruling came while it was hearing a plea filed by the Environment Pollution Control Authority. The bench said the health of millions of people was more important than commercial interests. The petitioner had demanded that only BS-IV compliant vehicles be sold in the market and argued that the environment could not get cleaner while older vehicles were still available.