Following the Supreme Court Ban on Wednesday over the sale and registration of Bharat Stage – III (BS-III) vehicles from April 1, two wheeler manufacturers like Hero and Honda are selling their scooters and motorcycles at a lesser rate till the ban kicks in. Hero & Honda have a number of scooters and motorcycles that run on old emission technologies and are hence offered at discounts that run up to Rs 22,000.
The ban has put a question mark on the inventory numbering of 6,70,000 vehicles in the country as of March 20. The aggressive discounting is the only way dealers can now have a marginal effect as selling and registering the entire inventory in this limited time is near impossible. India will now switch to stricter BS-IV emission norms, putting the automakers and dealers in a soup who were hoping for a relaxation on letting them sell the earlier models even after the deadline.
Previous submissions by the industry state that manufacturers and dealers have in their inventory more than 8,00,000 two wheelers, three wheelers, commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles that are complaint with the BS-III norms, 80% of these are estimated to be two wheelers.
So following the ban, Hero is offering benefits up to Rs 12,500 which include free insurance and cash discounts. While the company offers to bear the burden of cash discounts, the insurance will be borne by the dealers. According to a circular issued by Hero MotoCorp Ltd, the company will help with the liquidation of the BS-III stocks in the following manner. Their support includes a customer cashback benefit of Rs 5000 on HF and Splendor + while other motorcycle and scooters are running at a flat discount of Rs 7,500 and Rs 12,500 respectively. These schemes are valid only for today.
The discounts running at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Ltd (HMSI) run even steep with it offering a cash discount of up to Rs 22,000 on its BS-III vehicles. An advertisement on the company’s Facebook page read, “Gear up for cashback offer, save up to Rs22,000 with any new Honda BS-III compliant models across India. Visit our nearest dealership before 31 March.”
The dealers however believe the discounts aren’t going to help them with the sales much. An HMSI dealer told Livemint, “They (manufacturers) knew well in advance about new emission norms. Why did they produce so much? These discounts are meaningless as it’s practically impossible to register, sell and get the vehicle financed in such a short span of time.” He further added that they have no choice but to register vehicles in other people’s names, “That way, we will at least be able to sell them in the second-hand market, later.”
Honda showrooms at Pune have gotten so desperate that Honda Navi that is now being retailed at Pune at Rs 51,000 is now being offered up for free on purchase of CBR250R or CBR150R.