Prices of BS-VI two-wheelers have gone up by 12-15% while fuel efficiency have been increased by 12-15% too compared to BS-IV
TVS Motor Company, the Chennai-based maker of Apache and Jupiter brand of two-wheelers, has taken the lead in switching over to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) even as rivals Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto continued to produce BS-IV models well into February.
TVS completely shut production of the soon-to-be outdated BS-IV models in January itself while introducing BS-VI upgrades including that of Jupiter, Apache, RR310 and XL (moped). About 60 percent of dispatches in January were of BS-VI kind, TVS informed analysts.
Further, the company claims to have developed two different types of technologies using BS-VI transition that is tuned for either good mileage or race performance.
N. Radhakrishnan, President, CEO & Additional Whole-Time Director, TVS Motor Company, said, “We stopped BS-IV production in January. We have developed two versions of BS-VI fuel injection platform, namely, Ecothrust Fuel Injection (EtFi) and Race-Tuned Fuel Injection (RTFi). EtFi technology provides enhanced overall performing across drivability, smoothness and fuel economy. RTFi technology is designed to enjoy the racing experience or driving conditions.”
TVS, which is India’s fourth largest two-wheeler maker, also said that there will be an improvement of 12-15 percent in fuel efficiency besides a drop of 93 percent in emission in the new BS-VI models compared to the BS-IV models. TVS is holding five weeks of inventory, most of which is BS-VI.
India’s largest two-wheeler maker, Hero Motocorp, was producing BS-IV models until the middle of February. But, it stopped producing BS-IV scooters in December itself, the company informed.
Speaking to analysts Niranjan Kumar Gupta, CFO, Hero MotoCorp, said, “All our models are BS-VI ready. We are geared for the transition. We will be stopping our BS-IV production by middle of February itself and we're completely geared for a smooth transition to the BS VI regime”.
BS-VI variants of Passion Pro, HF, Splendor iSmart, Xtreme 160R, Glamour 125 and Pleasure have been made ready; some of which have been launched in the market too. Most of the BS-VI version retails will commence from March simply because there is a price hike of 12-15 percent in cost of the products compared to BS-IV.
“As far as inventory is concerned, we were down to close to six weeks at the end of December and by January-end, we were down to actually five weeks of our retail. So effectively, inventory is a nonissue. And pretty much we're geared for a transition. In fact, it's a good opportunity for any buyer today to actually pick up the BS-IV because he gets to buy at Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 lower even on a BS-IV or BS-VI price,” added Gupta.
Bajaj Auto, the country’s third biggest two-wheeler manufacturer, is not expecting any surge in discounting on BS-IV stocks as most of it has been replaced by BS-VI variants. The company has been producing BS-IV variants but in limited numbers thanks to a mini surge in demand in the final days of January.
Rakesh Sharma, Chief Commercial Officer & Executive Director - Bajaj Auto, said, “We have consciously managed our stocks of BS IV downwards with the objective of ensuring that we are free of BS IV stock by first week of March. And I think we are on track, particularly if we witness some pre-buying.”
He added that the company had produced some of the BS IV models in February.
"There are pockets (in the market) where we were a little bit overstocked, and there are pockets where we were under-stocked. And we are already stocked out when it comes to BS IV. So we have had to do a little bit of a top-up production of BS IV, but very, very little in first half Feb. And we don't want to stock out situation. That's why we are doing it,” said Sharma.
During the changeover to BS-IV from BS-III in 2017, two-wheeler manufacturers resorted to flash sale and product prices were dropped to half as they became desperate to liquidate stocks. There will be no repeat of this situation, the industry has assured.“We are very, very clear that we are not pumping in BS-IV (stocks). We do not want to do unnatural things to advance the people by luring them beyond whatever the arbitrage is and putting in more discounts on that. So given that strategy, we are fairly on track,” added Sharma.
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