BS4 car and bike sale extension: Why there is hope for thousands of unregistered vehicles

The BS4 sale extension didn't carry the uncertainty of the lockdown being extended and hence digital sales or registration could be the way out.

By:Published: April 9, 2020 5:07:02 PM
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That there is a huge BS4 inventory left to be sold is still a mulling question and might be giving many a dealer sleepless nights. We just did a story on how the dealers can take a breather here. We wanted to know from the apex dealers association body in India what exactly transpired and how is the organisation dealing with this all. We spoke with Vinkesh Gulati, vice-president, FADA and he had some interesting insights. Here is what transpired.

What does the order entail?

The honorable Supreme Court has said that only 10 per cent of the unsold BS4 stock can be retailed once the lockdown lifts. The stock estimate has been already sent to the Supreme Court along with the vehicle chassis numbers. Once the lockdown ends, the dealers can sell these vehicles and get them registered by April 30, 2020

Quantifying 10 per cent is a difficult bit, isn’t it?

It definitely is. However, a combined list of the inventories dealers have shared has been made. It can though be safely said that a majority of the stock has been already sold and is awaiting registration.

More than three lakh BS4 vehicles have been sold till March 31 but not registered

Vinkesh confirmed that a major chunk of the vehicles have already been sold. However he said that they can’t disclose the exact number as the matter is in the court now. He elaborated that before the rule, at least seven lakh two-wheelers and around 25,000 four-wheelers were left to be unsold. The state RTOs have been a major help and digitalisation too played a big part in the liquidation of stock.

So many two-wheelers?

The BS6 technology adoption amongst two-wheeler makers was a bit slow when compared to the car manufacturers. Companies like Mercedes-Benz already started rolling out BS6 vehicles as early as January 2018 (S-Class). However, the first BS6 two-wheeler was out only in September 2019. Without naming the manufacturer, Vinkesh said that BS4 motorcycle dispatches happened as late as March 15, 2020.

Can dealers sell BS4 vehicles at the moment?

Except for Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court says that dealers can. Out of the 10 per cent unsold stocks lying around, dealers can approach customers or vice-versa on digital platforms and make a sale.

Has the registration process slowed down?

After the lockdown, yes. However many RTOs were supportive and even waived the physical inspection rigmarole. Many approved the online updation of documents by dealers on the Vahan app. In most cases, the registration numbers as well as the RC copy are pending. Few states like Rajasthan have also allocated registration numbers to online-registered vehicles.

Currently, RTOs are not registering new vehicles and are waiting for the lockdown to end.

Will the BS4 sale date be extended anymore?

Vinkesh feels that this doesn’t look possible at all. The Supreme Court was extremely reluctant to even extend the date post lockdown. Precisely why only 10 per cent goods and for 10 days are allowed to be sold. The Supreme Court bench believes that the manufacturers should have sold these vehicles much ahead of the deadline and not have waited till the last day. After all, these vehicles are more polluting than their replacement BS6 models. The lockdown itself shows how a pollution-free environment can look like and until we have a permanent solution, lesser polluting vehicles are the way forward.

This being said, the lockdown seems certain to be extended although details are awaited. It will not only have social implications but huge economical ones too. Many smaller dealerships might fold up due to the financial pressure. OEMs can step in and help these dealers. While the overall situation is sad, we feel another BS4 sale extension will not be on the cards and in fact online registration or sale of BS4 vehicles might be promoted till April 30.

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