With the coronavirus hitting a lot of the European countries hard, the two-wheeler market has taken a huge hit. Manufacturers are pushing the EU to postpone the deadline by a year
The coronavirus pandemic is all that you’d read in the news today. Directly or indirectly, it has affected pretty much every industry out there, not just in India, but across the globe. While the automotive sector was already suffering a massive slowdown, the novel coronavirus has only made matters worse. If you consider Europe and India, the timing couldn’t get any more unfavourable.
India just made the shift to BS-VI emission norms from 1st April, 2020. With the virus forcing authorities to enforce a complete lockdown, Hero MotoCorp moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the BS-IV deadline. The apex court has permitted retailers to only sell 10% of their existing stock within 10 days after the lockdown is lifted. (Read the detailed story here)
Meanwhile, the two-wheeler industry in Europe is also about to switch to cleaner Euro 5 emission norms from 1st January 2021. While the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers or the ACEM, is trying to work out all possible solutions, they have also appealed to the European Union to extend the deadline by a year. The official statement from the ACEM read, “The recent lock-down and stringent measures to contain the pandemic have also paralyzed motorcycle retail business activity. This is progressively affecting all European markets, creating unsettling uncertainties for the motorcycle sector. The COVID-19 crisis is placing dealerships, most of which are small family-run operations, under extreme financial hardship."
With a little less than eight months to go before the Euro 5 regulations come into effect, a lot of manufacturers are still to finalise and/or homologate their products. While some two-wheelers will make through to the other side with minor updates to the engine, some others, will need a lot more work. Moreover, retailers will also need some time before they can do away with the existing stock of Euro 4 models.
Considering there is no certainty as to when manufacturers will be able to function in their full capacity, it seems difficult that they will be able to update all models before the end of the year. While the automotive industry world-over is facing unimaginable challenges, the pressure is very high on the European two-wheeler manufacturers.