When the deadline for discontinuing the production of BS3 compliant models loomed close, many Indian manufacturers went on what we like to term a ‘fire sale’, in a bid to clear their stocks of the BS3 versions and start sale of the BS4 compliant models. This resulted in a slew of discounts and offers across the table to speed up sales.
Yes, a lot of people have been waiting for the so called fire-sale that is expected to happen in Q1 2020. With BS6 emission norms coming into effect beginning 1 April, a large chunk of customers are sitting on the fence, waiting for the right deal and discount to come their way.
While a considerable number of manufacturers, including the likes of Renault, Nissan, Skoda and Audi have revealed their plans to discontinue diesel powertrains; a few brands such as Hyundai, Kia Motors and Mercedes-Benz have already launched a range of BS6 emission compliant models. Not to forget, there is also Maruti Suzuki which has updated a majority of its products with BS6 petrol engines while the diesel units will see the end of the road before the emission norms set in early next year.
With such different types of approach taken by manufacturers, does it really make sense to wait it out until the last minute? Maybe not, and here’s why. To begin with, models that are already BS6 compliant will not have any discounts or benefits as they do not come under the said purview. Next up is the range of manufacturers that have BS4 products. While models from these brands are currently being produced, a few brands are slowly reducing production or putting them on hold, before eventually pulling the plug.
On the other hand, manufacturers like Isuzu have announced that they will stop the production of BS4 vehicles by the end of the year. The company has also revealed that the entire product portfolio will be updated to comply with BS6 emission norms, also resulting in a significant price hike, which is expected to be in the range of Rs 3-4 lakhs. In order to clear the current stock of BS4 vehicles, the brand is also offering discounts and special offers across all models until the end of the year.
For those brands and their dealers who do intend to keep stock of BS4 vehicles, they may end up losing a fair sum in their profit margin if not more, as no BS4 cars will be registered once the BS6 norms come into effect from 1 April 2020.
Manufacturers such as Honda and Hyundai have been offering heavy discounts to the tune of Rs 5 lakhs and Rs 2 lakhs respectively, based on the model one chooses to buy. Even the best-sellers from Hyundai in the form of the Creta has seen discounts for the first time ever since its debut in the market. The country’s largest automobile manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki, is offering discounts on its popular models as well. A few other names in the list of manufacturers that offer discounts include Mahindra, Ford, Tata Motors, Volkswagen, Skoda, Nissan, Toyota, Renault and JaguarLand Rover. The discounts vary with each brand and model, ranging from a few thousands to a few lakhs. These offers though, do not stand for recent launches such as the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, new Hyundai Elantra, Kia Seltos and the MG Hector.
Discounting isn’t a recent phenomenon, it has been at a constant for the past six months but is likely to water down as the BS6 deadline approaches. Now might just be the best time to get that favourite car which you’ve been eyeing for so long but haven’t been able to buy it yet. Additionally, the fact that you want to seal the deal by the end of the current calendar year, might encourage the dealer to make the deal a tad bit sweeter in order to meet his targets before 2019 comes to an end.