For multinationals, it was relatively easier. “The BS-VI is another design of engines like BS-IV, with a few specific design and hardware differences. So once the design got frozen, it was simply a matter of programming the machines and giving training to the technicians to handle one more variant of engine,” said Ganesh Mani, director, production at Hyundai Motor India.
Despite the prolonged slowdown, most were ready to launch BS-VI-compliant models in 2019 but the problem of unsold BS-IV inventory at the dealer-end became aggravated because of the nationwide lockdown that has made sales difficult for the six days in March.
According to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association, 105,000 two-wheelers, 2,250 passenger cars and 2,000 commercial vehicles have been sold but not registered throughout India because of the lockdown. Some 700,000 two wheelers, 15,000 passenger cars and 12,000 commercial vehicles are lying unsold.
In response to this situation, the Supreme Court, which had earlier refused any extension of the April 1 deadline for registering vehicles, last week allowed the sale and registration of 10 per cent of such vehicles till 10 days after the lockdown is lifted, barring Delhi-NCR.