Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) will become the second two-wheeler manufacturer in India, after Bajaj Auto, to manufacture only BS IV-compliant scooters and motorcycles a month ahead of the April 1, 2017 deadline set by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
HMSI has a total manufacturing capacity of 5.8 million units across four plants in the country -- Manesar, Haryana, Tapukara, Rajasthan, Kolar and Vithalapur, Gujarat. This decision to move to BS-IV completely before the deadline marks a sizeable transition within the two-wheeler industry.
While Bajaj Auto started manufacturing BS IV-only models nearly two months before the notified date, Honda is set to start production a month earlier. At a press conference in Mumbai on February 15, Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto, had revealed that his company had started converting the existing BS III-compliant models to BS-IV standards in September 2016, and had finished doing so by end-January 2017. He had also appealed against the unfair price advantage that other OEMs may have while selling BS III-compliant vehicles in the market beyond April 1, in the form of disposing their accumulated inventory.
It is understood that the updated models will be costlier than their BS III-compliant counterparts, and a few market research firms have already pointed at a potential spike in sales of BS III-compliant models as the deadline approaches.
In an official communication with our sister publication Autocar Professional, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior vice-president (Sales & Marketing), HMSI, said that his company is prepared to meet the deadline and is also well placed to sell off the BS III-compliant inventory on time. “We are prepared for the incoming deadline. For Honda, our market strategy is well placed for existing BS III stock and from March 1, 2017, we will be producing only BS-IV models.” He said, “Our first BS-IV model, the CB Hornet 160R was launched in 2015 and currently, more than 85 percent of our models are BS IV-compliant.”