The Supreme Court, earlier ruled against SIAM and a group of automakers requesting for sale and registration of BS III compliant vehicles beyond 1 April. The argument to allow sale of these vehicles was that it wasn't clear whether the deadline pointed towards manufacturing of vehicles or sale of BS III vehicles beyond 1 April. As a result, many companies such as Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, Mahindra, TVS Motor, Ashok Leyland and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) are left with a stock of about nine lakh BS III complaint vehicles, which if left unsold could result in a loss of around Rs 12,000 crore to the automotive industry including the dealers.
You can read details about the judgement and its scope by clicking the link below.
Big discounts now on the offer
A big loss then for the industry. However, one's loss is somebody's gain and this adage holds tru here since you as a consumer stand to benefit from the Supreme Court's ruling. With such a large stock of vehicles left and less than three days to go before the deadline comes into effect, companies will try and sell as many as possible BS III vehicles. This could end up in a situation similar to a firesale, although not entirely as companies will now offer huge discounts on vehicles. In fact, as we speak, more and more dealerships across the country are starting to offer huge discounts on their stock of BS III vehicles. HMSI dealerships are offering up to Rs 22,000 on some of their vehicles. Dealers with high stocks though might be able to give you better discounts. TVS Motor too is offering more than rS 20,000 discount on some of its scooters and motorcycles. Same is the story at Hero MotoCorp as its dealers are offering around Rs 12,000 disocunt on some of the scooters and motorcycles.
Many dealerships and companies are hesitating to announce the discounts for various reasons associated with the ruling. However, we advise you to contact or visit your nearest dealers for the companies mentioned above and the discounts you can avail could be directly proportional to the stock held by the dealer.
The risks of chasing these discounts
Please be aware that this only applies to cities where registration of BS III vehicles was allowed till now. Hence, people residing in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, etc won't be able to get any such discounts on cars.
While the opportunity to avail huge discounts is an enticing proposition for people planning to buy vehicles in the next few weeks, there are things that you need to be careful of. As per the Supreme Court ruling, vehicles sold before 1st April can be registered in cities that permitted BS III vehicles. Vehicles registered after 1st April but bought earlier will need to have proof that the sale was carried out before midnight of 31st March.
As a buyer, you need to protect yourselves from dealers who might try to slap on their old vehicle to you. In such a case you'll be stuck with a vehicle that cannot be driven on the roads. In order to avoid such a situation, ensure you get all essential documents and invoices related to the sale and finance before 31st March. Running BS III vehicles on BS IV fuel though won't be a problem and the vehicles aren't required to undergo any changes for the same.
There's one more flip side to buying BS III vehicles right now though since in 2020, India will leapfrog from BS IV norms to BS VI emission norms. This, effectively will hurt the resale value of BS III vehicles significantly. In addition, there's an additional risk of new rules mandating disposal of BS III vehicles in a few years after the implementation of BS VI. In case this happens, BS III vehicle owners can say a big goodbye to their vehicle's resale value and look at selling it to a scrap dealer in case a scrappage policy doesn't come in to effect.
In a nutshell, for the short-term buyer in small cities and towns, it's an opportunity to buy a new two or four-wheeler at a heavily discounted price. At the same time, this ruling also opens the window for unethical transactions, many of which might end up hurting an uninformed buyer in the short-term, long-term or both too.