HYDERABAD: A Supreme Court ban on sale and registration of Bharat Stage-3 (BS-III, a GoI set emission standard) vehicles effective from April 1 saw a huge rush at motorcycle showrooms across the city as the latter offered huge discounts to clear up the inventory of BS-III vehicles. Such was the rush that by Friday noon, most dealers sold the vehicles and shut their shops.
Following the Apex Court order on Thursday, dealers across the city slashed prices of BS-IIImodels. Showrooms of Yamaha, TVS, Bajaj, Hero, Honda saw increased footfall on Friday and the vehicles sold like hot cakes.
“If the vehicle is sold before April 1, and temporary registration is provided through the RTA portal by the dealer, only then can a vehicle be registered. The vehicles cannot be sold after. The dealers will not be able to sell these vehicles and as per the Supreme Court order, manufacturers cannot sell these vehicles either,” said B Venkateshwarlu, joint transport commissioner, Telangana Road Transport Authority.
Jameel Sheik, a student who had come to buy a Yamaha-FZ premium class motorcycle, was disappointed to see the showroom’s shutter down. “I first went to a TVS showroom to buy an Apache-RTR but they were out of stock, now Yamaha is also out of stock. I will keep trying at other showrooms for other models.”
“We had about 100 BS-III vehicles mostly in the scooter category. We were giving a 40 per cent discount and now we have sold out,” said Surendar Reddy, manager at Honda, Raj Bhavan Road.
“Customers are trying to haggle and get more discount but we cant provide them with more than 20-25 per cent discount. This discount itself is a huge thing,” said Mahesh Kumar, area manager with Yamaha.
Unsold stock for export?
The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) is in discussion with the manufactures about the unsold stock at this point, but are not sure if it would be pushed to export.
“For dealers facing heavy losses, this is a distress sale as they have to dispose off their stock. Despite the discount customers are bargaining more, taking advantage of the situation,” said Gulshan Ahuja, General Secretary, FADA.
“If dealers give more than 25 per cent discount, it will be a direct loss to them,” Gulshan Ahuja said.
“There is no doubt people are lapping up whatever stock is available. But fundamentally, in itself, the Supreme Court order is not justified because there was no communication before this PIL was filed. No where was it mentioned that the sales should stop. The ministry of road transport had given a notification that there should be no production of BS-III vehicles so just changing the production to sale immediately without giving a notice of any kind was a little unjust,” said S Talwar, dealer of Trans Luxury bikes and Bajaj for Telangana.
But we respect the order of the SC but the customers don’t seem to be bothered about environment they are happy to buy BS-III vehicles, he added.
Options before the dealers
“As for the stock that remains unsold, the manufacturer will have to take it back and export or convert it to BS-IV. But that is cost intensive. If the manufacturer is going to support and take back the stock then the dealer won’t face losses but it they refuse it will be difficult. But this will be mostly a case-to-case basis depending on the manufacturer and the dealer,” said Talwar.