Business Reporter :
CONFUSED over the uncertainty of sales and availability of BS-VI compliance fuel, the local automobile dealers are still indecisive on maintaining demand-based stock in the showrooms after the March 31 deadline. Overall sales have also slowed down with many automobile finance companies avoiding financing BS-VI vehicles and no BS-IV production as well as limited orders from dealers. Though the panic of old stock clearance do not exist and whatever number of BS-IV vehicles left, all time high schemes introduced by the manufacturers have attracted customers for a complete sale-out within the set deadline.
Meanwhile, uncertainty is also prevailing among the vehicle buyers, especially the car buyers that has resulted in slight drop in sales over last few months. A lot of people are confused whether to hold the money now and buy a BS-VI car after April 1, 2020 or avail the super discount offers. However, the prices of BS-VI cars expected to increase between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh (based on capacity) has also steadied the pre-deadline sales to some extent. National Secretary of Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) Manish Raj Singhania informed that the panicky situation witnessed among the automobile dealers during the sudden changeover deadline imposed by the Supreme Court last time will not arise now. The Supreme Court directive on conversion to BS-VI variant vehicles was given on October 24, 2019, which ruled that no BS-VI vehicle should be sold across the country from April 1, 2020.
Thus, the automobile sector from vehicle manufacturers to the dealers had a reasonable time to go for the necessary change in technology and plan-out smooth transition. Though limited stock of BS-IV vehicles are with the dealers, all time high schemes clear the old stock ahead of the set deadline. Singhania said that the production of BS-VI vehicles has already commenced and available with the dealership for sale from November/December last year. However, sharing his concern over actual position for the easy access to BS-VI compliance fuel, he said that no statement or any clarity on the issue has been given by the Union Ministry or the oil companies.
While talking to this scribe from Mudarai, President of Chhattisgarh Petroleum Dealers Association Akhil Dhagat said that oil companies have already initiated steps on priority for supply of BS-VI compliance fuel and smooth dispensing from the fuel stations across country as scheduled. The companies have started testing process which includes sample testing in all fuel pumps.
The testing process will be completed ahead of the deadline March 31, 2020 and the Sulphur reduced fuel is expected to be dispensed to the general public before the deadline, Dhagat added. Sharing his views, Director RME Works Jayesh Pithalia said that against the last unexpected extremely tensed deadline of 48 hours, the change-over to BS-VI compliance has 6-month long stock clearance option. The models that are still not sold or not in demand are offered on attractive discounts, warranties, services etc. Chances of ending-up to the last moment is very less, he added. Being an authorised dealer SML-ISUZU and Swaraj Mazda, he said that all existing stock is sold out.
But, with no actual information on preparation and availability of low sulphur (10ppm) fuel, unable to introduce new BS VI compliance vehicles, he added. Marketing Manager of Jaika Group Aritra Ghosh informed that the commercial vehicle will see a significant crisis in the coming month. Besides Automobile industry completely stopping the production of BS-IV vehicles, the dealers have also stopped placing orders and limited stock left with them to cater to the demand.