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Despite outbreak, sales of BS-VI vehicles cross over 1 million

Auto majors have placed more than a million BS-VI passenger vehicles on Indian roads despite the Covid-19 pandemic playing spoilsport. While some players are yet to launch their BS-VI portfolio due to the lockdown, others started a year in advance, experts said.

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  • Passenger vehicles' sales were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent nationwide lockdown, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Business Unit President Mayank Pareek said. Similarly, TKM said its domestic sales declined 45 per cent to 7,023 units last month as compared to 12,818 units in March 2019.

    "While the industry players were looking for a three-month extension (till June 30), the 10-day extension post the lockdown by the Supreme Court is not expected to do any good to the industry given the current situation due to COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus)," ratings agency CARE Ratings said in a report. ​​

    Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President Rajan Wadhera said some state governments have recently issued circulars directing that no application for registration of BS-IV vehicles would be accepted on or after certain dates, which are much ahead of March 31, 2020.

    Sales of passenger vehicles dropped 7.61% to 251,516 units in the month under review, shows SIAM data.

    South Korea’s Hyundai Motor is seeking to build its presence in the country’s fleet operators segment with diesel and CNG offerings, and rival Maruti Suzuki’s decision to stop sale of diesel-run vehicles next month could help it push sales. Hyundai registered institutional sales of 58,000 units in 2019.

    Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors and Mahindra's portfolio of diesel vehicles are those where the price hikes are likely to be high and passing the entire burden to the customer would be painful. But it's too large a price increase for companies to absorb, feel experts.

    Automobile sales in India across categories declined 19.08 per cent in February as economic slowdown continued to hit demand, besides lower production in view of transition to BS-VI emission norms affecting wholesale dispatches, auto industry body SIAM said on Friday.

    The impact of China we have already quantified that it will shave off 1% on EBIT on JLR for the quarter. India was anyway a weak quarter because of the transition from BS-IV to BS-VI. We will see how the next few weeks plays out on consumer demand. As of now there is no impact yet, said P B Balaji, the Group CFO at Tata Motors.

    The Federation of Automobile Dealers' Associations (FADA) had asked the Supreme Court to extend the deadline to sell and register BS-IV norms compliant vehicles, arguing that dealers would incur the losses on any unsold inventory. However, the court refused to look into the merits of the case and was in no mood to consider any extension.

    "While we do not have any direct suppliers, some of our tier-1 suppliers will be kind of impacted...As of now whatever we have understood, if everything happens as per that plan and materials start moving out from China, it should not have a major impact," Ashok Leyland Chief Operating Officer Anuj Kathuria told.

    The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) said considering the long downturn that has lasted well over a year now and the current dynamic demand situation, selling 100 per cent of the BS-IV vehicles currently in stock with its members by March 31 is a tough task.

    Dio has grown today to become the second highest selling two-wheeler in the south region," HMSI Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, said.

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