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Auto Dealers request Supreme Court to extend BS4 deadline by 2 months

Even before the onset of the corona virus scare, automotive dealerships had a tough time selling off their remaining BS4 stock

New Delhi: The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) on Tuesday 17 March 2020, has approached the Supreme Court of India seeking the extension of legal BS4 vehicle sales beyond the stipulated deadline of 1st April 2020. The federation has filed an interlocutory application to postpone the deadline since the automotive industry has been facing a sharp fall in business due to the ongoing corona virus pandemic.

Even before drastic measures were taken by the Indian government to slow down the spread of COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease – 2019), dealerships found it hard to clear their leftover BS4 stock. For the same reason, dealers of all vehicle categories have been offering compelling discounts for old BS4 models. For instance, check out the discount offers for BS4 cars.

New Car Sales Feb 2020
Image – Indus Motors

Besides the interlocutory application, FADA has also filed an application seeking a modification in Writ Petition No. 13029 of 1985 in the matter of M. C. Mehta vs Union of India & others (dated 24 October 2018). This petition was the one which directed that no motor vehicle conforming to Bharat Stage-IV (BSIV or BS4) emission standards shall be sold or registered in the country from the start of April 2020.

Ashish Harsharaj Kale, President of FADA, stated that the federation had previously approached the Supreme Court with a similar application in view of the rising BS4 vehicle inventory amidst a sluggish market. The application was rejected by the apex court on 14 February 2020. Now, the situation has become worse with corona virus disrupting business in almost all fields.

Over the past week, there has been a critical drop in vehicle sales and even the number of visitors at dealerships across the country. As per data, dealerships have faced about 60-70% drop in business in just a few days’ time. The concerned authorities of the state governments have already started issuing temporary closure notices to shops, malls, parks and related establishments to break the chain of spread, until 31 March 2020 or further notice.

Hence, automotive dealerships are left with no other option than to wait helplessly until the deadline. FADA aims to extend the deadline to 31 May 2020 and has high hopes since the situation is much different in comparison to the time of their initial application. Several global brands have temporarily shut down their operations in the worst-affected regions. The world is going through difficult times but there’s no need to panic. However, necessary precautions have to be taken without fail.

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