The deadline for implementation of Bharat Stage VI (BS6) emission regulations inches closer, with April 1, 2020 as the date when no manufacturer or two-wheeler dealer will be able to sell or register any BS4 two-wheeler. Almost all two-wheeler manufacturers have already shifted and replaced manufacturing of BS4 two-wheelers with updated BS6 models. However, there is still a large number of BS4 two-wheeler stock available at dealerships, and across different manufacturers. Dealers of two-wheeler brands are rolling out attractive discounts to move out existing BS4 stock and inventory, but with a lockdown across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, BS4 stocks may remain unsold before March 31, 2020.
Discounts For Consumers, Challenges for Dealers
Now may be a good time to pick up a BS4 two-wheeler, the primary advantage being lower price. With the move to new technology (FI, mostly), most BS6 two-wheelers have become expensive, ranging from ₹ 5,000 to almost ₹ 20,000 depending on brand and model. And that's not all. Dealers are offering discounts ranging from ₹ 3,000 to as much as ₹ 18,000. But with a lockdown across several states in India, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it may not be possible to get to a dealership to grab that deal. So, what are the options then?
Also Read: Great Deals On Offer On BS4 Premium Bikes
According to estimates, Indian two-wheeler inventory levels of BS4 stock will be between 6,00,000 to 8,00,000 two-wheelers, amounting to cost implications of at least ₹ 3,600 crore. And to liquidate this standing stock, at least two weeks of sales will be required. But under the current lockdown, the industry will likely face tough times ahead. According to analysts, there are only a few options left, and it will be up to the two-wheeler manufacturers to bail our dealers.
"In all likelihood, there will be no relaxation from the government as far as the deadline for BS6 implementation is concerned. There are a few options, for example, the government may give a reprieve under a new ordinance, the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) may recall the BS4 vehicles and sell them in export markets, like Nepal and Africa, but there will be cost implications. Then, OEMs can maintain existing BS4 stock for spares, but will have cost implications, and the last option will be to recall the stock and upgrade to BS6, but that is a technologically grey area. The best option, we feel, will be to sell the BS4 stock in export markets, but the cost to recall and export the BS4 stock will have to be borne by the manufacturers," said Shamsher Dewan, Analyst with investment information and credit rating agency ICRA.
And while buying BS4 stock online is an option, observers say the e-commerce route will not result in any significant results, both for dealers, or manufacturers. Here is the list of deals being offered across manufacturers and what could be the likely scenario to pick up a BS4 two-wheeler.
Hero MotoCorp is offering attractive discounts on certain models of its commuter motorcycles, scooters and its entire range of 200 cc BS4 motorcycles, including the Hero XPulse 200, as well as the Hero Xtreme 200 range. Hero dealerships in Delhi are offering discounts ranging from ₹ 3,000 on the Hero Splendor iSmart motorcycle, up to ₹ 12,500 on the Hero XPulse.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI)
Honda is one of the first two-wheeler manufacturers to introduce a BS6 ready two-wheeler in the mass-market space, with the all-new Honda Activa 125 FI. Honda then followed with the launch of the 125 cc motorcycle, the new Honda SP 125, and then the sixth generation, BS6 Honda Activa 6G, as well as the Honda Shine BS6. While Honda has been able to liquidate much of its stock of BS4 two-wheelers, and has replaced a lot of production of BS4 two-wheelers early on, some dealerships still have BS4 inventory. Discounts are offered on the Honda Activa 5G, as well as the Honda CB300R.
Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited (SMIPL)
Suzuki has already replaced its entire product portfolio with BS6 models, and the new and updated range was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020. Dealers however, have still some stock left of BS4 models. Suzuki is offering discounts of up to ₹ 20,000 on its new 250 cc offering, the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250.
Bajaj Auto Limited
Bajaj Auto has updated almost its entire motorcycle line-up with BS6 models, but certain dealerships are still left with a few BS4 stock. These include the Bajaj Pulsar RS200, as well as the Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin Disc models, with discounts of up to ₹ 18,000.
India Yamaha has very limited BS4 stock left, but some dealerships still have some stock of BS4 models in the Yamaha FZ series motorcycles. These include the Yamaha FZ V3, the Yamaha FZ-S V3, as well as the Yamaha FZ25 models, all offered with discounts of ₹ 17,000.