We all are in the grips of a BS-VI wave. A similar wave engulfed us a couple of years ago when the conversion from BS-III to BS-IV happened. There was a melee of people scrambling to buy the vehicles at a discounted price, shops being kept open well past their deadlines and collective offers. While its too early to say if BS-VI will bring in a similar reaction, we have got a few responses from industry stalwarts on the same. The common reaction is that increasing prices by around 10-15 per cent on each model will lead to a collective regression from the vehicle buying public.
To counter this, two-wheeler makers will be "adding value" to their products. Yamaha, in a statement earlier this month, said that they will be adding side stand switches to few of their select models. A source associated with the development said that it is still being deliberated if Yamaha will absorb the initial cost of these"value additions" or will be passed on to the customer. As it is, the side stand switch isn't an expensive proposition and especially if it's going to be mass manufactured.
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Limited, on the other hand, has got an all-new product as its first BS-VI offering. This is the new Activa 125 that was unveiled a couple of months ago. While the product will be in the market next month, it is clear that it is going to offer a lot more than the current generation. The new Honda Activa 125 will bring in silent start (you won't hear the typical starting sound) and an engine inhibitor that prevents the powertrain from starting if you aren't careful enough to remove the vehicle side stand. There is also the idling start-stop system that we have seen on Hero scooters, real-time fuel efficiency and all-LED headlights. Of course, there is the BS-VI engine in question that uses a fuel injector instead of a carb. The current Honda Activa 125 price starts at Rs 60,627. We can expect the new Activa 125 to be priced upwards of Rs 68,000.
Hero has also got its BS-VI product ready in the form of the Splendor iSmart. However, while much details are unavailable at this point of time it is clear that this is the 110cc that Hero has got from Honda. This engine in its present BS-IV form produces 9.5hp and 9.0Nm. We expect these specs to remain the same. It is likely that the Splendor iSmart may also come with a semi-digital instrument cluster and an optional front disc brake. As is the case, it already gets the start-stop system as well as side stand indicator.
TVS was recently spotted testing its new Apache RTR 160 and these so-called value additions were also noticed with this product. It gets a LED DRL and more.
All-in-all, almost all the vehicle manufacturers in the two-wheeler space, it seems will collectively offer more equipment on their BS-VI offerings to offset the additional cost. This will also give the customer a sense of enhanced value.