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Over 200 sub-dealers and some dealers of Bajaj Auto in Punjab have stopped selling bikes from April 18 seeking compensation for the unsold BS-III units following the Supreme Court ban on sale of such models. Bajaj has around 40 dealers and over 200 sub-dealers in Punjab, who are sitting over 1,000 BS-III units since the ban came into effect, according to industry sources. However, Bajaj Auto president claimed that none of its dealers are on strike. "All our dealers are working and open. But there could be some sub-dealers who may have some problems with the dealers," Eric Vas, president, motorcycle business at Bajaj Auto said in a text message.
But he refused to share the number of unsold inventory or any other details. Significantly, the Pune-based automaker had in February claimed that it was making only BS-IV models from late January. Its managing director Rajiv Bajaj had also blasted auto industry early February for seeking more time to implement the new emission norms. Sub-dealers say they are saddled with almost 1,000 unsold units of BS-III units and the company is not ready to commit any compensation. They also claimed many are afraid to go public on the issue fearing backlash from the company. These sub-dealers and some of the dealers have shuttered their business for the past three days from April 18 in protest against the company's approach to their problem. On April 5, Bajaj informed dealers that it would take back all the unsold units from them but was silent on those with the sub-dealers. Following the March 29 ban of sale and registration of BS-III models from April 1, Bajaj too joined its peers in offering heavy discounts to the tune of Rs 3,500-13,000 to dealers to help them dispose of the banned vehicles. As per an an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on March 20, Bajaj had said it had BS-IV certification for its flagship Pulsar 150 since December 9, 2016, but admitted that it had made over 5,100 units of the same model in BS-III variant even in February to help its suppliers from booking heavy losses. As per the affidavit, it had also informed the apex court that as of March 20, it had over 79,200 BS-III units.
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