Coronavirus Lockdown No Basis For BS4 Deadline Extension: Rajiv Bajaj

According to the Bajaj Auto Managing Director, manufacturers who still have an inventory of BS4 two-wheelers didn't plan well enough for the March 31, 2020 deadline for conversion to BS6 emission norms

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Rajiv Bajaj - Managing Director, Bajaj Auto

Highlights

  • Rajiv Bajaj called the unsold BS4 stocks a result of management failure
  • SIAM has appealed for a deadline extension with the Supreme Court
  • The Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on the matter on March 27, 2020

Chairman and MD of Bajaj Auto, Rajiv Bajaj has said that he will vehemently oppose any extension given to automakers to liquidate their existing Bharat Stage IV (BS4) stocks lying with dealers around the country. By some estimates more than 7 lakh units of BS4 stocks are yet to be sold as the deadline of March 31, 2020, is fast approaching. The cost of these vehicles is pegged at over ₹ 6,000 crore. Many two-wheeler manufacturers have their eyes set on the Supreme Court if it decides to take up the matter in the next few days. An appeal has been filed by Federation of Automobiles Dealers Association (FADA) to consider the current lockdown and relax the deadline for selling and registering BS4 stock.

Speaking to a publication, Rajiv Bajaj said, "I see absolutely no grounds for seeking an extension because we've had a three-year notice. Companies struggling are those that left it too late by continuing to produce BS-IV vehicles well into February. This is management's failure to plan at best and greed at worst."

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Bajaj Auto has transitioned its product range to BS6 emission regulations

Bajaj feels apart from demonstrating scant respect for the law and the environment a possible extension will put his company and a few others at a competitive disadvantage with higher-priced BS6 stocks. Royal Enfield has also announced that all the company's BS4 stock is now sold out, and as of March 21, 2020, only BS6 models will be sold across Royal Enfield dealerships in the country.

FADA has also written to the Society of Indian Automobiles (SIAM) President on behalf of the dealers asking manufacturers for assurance on the return of unsold BS4stocks in case the Supreme Court verdict doesn't come in their favour. Amidst the Coronavirus lockdown, dealerships across the country are shut which means the remaining stocks cannot be cleared in the normal course of time.

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