With the deadline for BS-IV compliant vehicles from April 1 nearing, some automakers have sought amnesty and allowing them to sell BS-III models.
Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto is miffed at the prospect of this being allowed because it would be very unfair for companies like his who are ready with BS-IV compliant vehicles. Especially, since a lot of time and money on the roll over to BS-IV, he said.
If the norms are delayed then companies who have been complacent would get the cost/price advantage. He said he was not aware that industry was building this position on BS-IV norms.
Below is the transcript of Rajiv Bajaj’s interview to CNBC-TV18’s Farah Bookwala Vhora.
Q: What are your thoughts on the new BS IV norms?
A: For the first time the authorities have drawn a distinction in applying emission norms, in this case BS IV, to new vehicles versus existing vehicles. As long as I can remember, for the last 25 years or so, such a distinction was not drawn. However this time it was said very clearly that any vehicle introduced after April 1 2016 which is almost a year needs to comply with BS IV from day one. So, any manufacturer that has introduced automotive products in the last 10 months is already complying with BS IV. To me the spirit of that decision means therefore that from April 1 2016 to March 31 2017, this period of 12 months has been provided to every manufacturer to rollover his existing models that is his production of millions of the existing products from BS III to BS IV.
So, my interpretation is quite logical and would stand up to common sense that we have all already been given a year to make the change over on our existing products from BS III to BS IV. Hence now for anyone to ask for even more time on the pretext that April 1, 2017 applies to production of new vehicles rather than to their sales is completely silly and absurd.
The reason I feel miffed is because companies like us have invested a lot of time, a lot of effort and of course a lot of money in doing this meticulously starting from September when we started the changeover and completing it last month. This has obviously put us at some kind of a price disadvantage in the market place because the cost of complying with BS IV is not insignificant, that has been passed on to the customers.
So, in effect what we will see if an amnesty is granted, that is the norms are delayed, is that those companies that have sat back, been complacent about it, will continue to sell more polluting vehicles at lower prices and companies like ourselves that have been proactive will be in the marketplace with BS IV compliant vehicles at higher prices. It just seems a tad unfair to me.