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Auto dealers ask SC to extend sale of BS-IV vehicles beyond March 31

Counter sales has fallen by 60-70 per cent across auto dealerships due to Covid-19

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

In the past week, a drastic drop has been witnessed in sales and customer walk-ins have reduced to a trickle as caution sets in due to fear of spreading of the virus

The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), on behalf of its members, has approached the Supreme Court with an interlocutory application and an application seeking modification in its earlier order, which put a ban on sellling or reistering BS-IV vehicles across the country.

In October 2018, the apex court directed that “…no motor vehicle conforming to emission standard Bharat Stage-IV shall be sold or registered in the entire country with effect from April 1, 2020".

FADA President Ashish Harsharaj Kale said, after FADA's initial application, necessitated due to huge unsold BS-IV inventory and slowing sales, was rejected by the apex court on February 14, 2020, there has been a drastic change in circumstances in conducting business as usual. SARS-CoV-2 aka Coronavirus (Covid-19) which emerged in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China has spread rapidly across the globe and also in India.

In the past week a drastic drop has been witnessed in sales and customer walk-ins have reduced to a trickle as caution sets in due to fear of spreading of the virus. Counter sales have fallen by 60-70 per cent across auto dealerships in these past few days.

The situation has worsened in the past 3-4 days with partial lockdowns in many towns and cities and few district magistrates have started issuing notices of closure of shops and establishments including auto dealerships to stop the spread of virus.”

“Owning to situations which are beyond our control and the fact that many of our members may face dealership closures if leftover with unsold BS-IV stocks, FADA has once again approached the apex body with a request for permission of sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles till 31st May’20 and hopes to get an urgent hearing in the Hon’ble Supreme Court owing to the criticality of the issue and the deadline of March 31, approaching fast," said Kale.

On Monday, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking directions for ensuring that sale and/or registration of BS-IV vehicles are allowed till the cut-off date of March 31, 2020.

Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM said that some state governments have recently issued circulars directing that no applications for registration of BS-IV vehicles would be accepted on or after a certain date, which are much ahead of March 31, 2020. The cut-off dates ranges from February 29, 2020, to March 25, 2020, from state to state, though BS VI emission compliance is mandated from April 1, 2020.

These circulars have put the customers, dealers and vehicle manufacturers in severe discomfort, as each of them are racing against time to exhaust the BS-IV stocks which are with the dealers. The Supreme Court has directed that no BS IV vehicle be sold or registered starting April 1, 2020, he said.

First Published: Tue, March 17 2020. 14:55 IST