The Coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc all over the world, with multiple countries on lockdowns. Self-isolation, social distancing and quarantining are what most people are turning to. With the advent of the epidemic, the problems have increased manifold in the past few weeks. Although almost the entire world is experiencing the undercurrents of the epidemic, the automotive industry has been hit pretty hard.
Production has been shut worldwide for over a month now and many autosport events have also been held on standby due to the COVID-19 scare. The partial lockdown situations in India has further dwindled BS4 vehicle sales and FADA is looking for an extension of the March 31 sales deadline.
The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) has once again filed an application and approached the Supreme Court. It seeks changes in the ban imposed on the sales of BS4 vehicles in India. Dated October 24, 2018, the ban dictates that “no motor vehicle conforming to emission standard Bharat Stage 6 shall be sold or registered in the entire country with effect from April 1, 2020.”
Since the earlier plea was rejected, they have once more applied due to the drop in sales because of coronavirus. The pandemic has further dwindled the already plummeting sales and it has made things difficult for dealerships. The BS4 deadline was already very difficult to manage and the spread of the virus and further complicated the situation.
The impact of COVID-19 has made its presence felt in India, and in the past week there has been a “drastic drop in sales and customer walk-ins have reduced to a trickle as caution sets in due to fear of spreading of the virus.” FADA states that “counter sales have fallen by 60-70 percent across auto dealerships in the last few days.”
FADA president Ashish Harsharaj Kale said, “Post our initial application, necessitated due to huge unsold BS4 inventory and slowing sales, getting 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.”
“Owing to situations which are beyond our control and the fact that many of our members may face dealership closures if leftover with unsold BS4 stocks, FADA has once again approached the Supreme Court with a request for permission of sale and registration of BS4 vehicles till May 31, 2020, and hopes to get an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court owing to the criticality of the issue and the deadline of March 31, approaching fast,” he said.