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What coronavirus lockdown 2.0 guidelines mean for vehicles

  • If you must take out your vehicle within May 3, check if you fit the new coronavirus lockdown 2.0 guidelines.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced extension the ongoing nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means restrictions on movement of vehicles will continue till May 3.

The government’s guidelines on lockdown 2.0 have given some respite for those who have to venture out in their vehicles. The guideline says that private vehicles for emergency services, including medical and veterinary care and for procuring essential commodities, will be allowed. In such cases, one passenger besides the private vehicle driver can be permitted in the backseat in a four-wheeler; in case of two-wheelers, however, only the driver of the vehicle is permitted.

The new lockdown guidelines also allow some of the self-employed professionals who have direct impact on the lives of the common people. Fortunately, motor mechanics are part of that list. In case you are facing issues with your vehicle, you can seek help from your local mechanic.

The new guidelines will not apply in containment zones, as demarcated by states, union territories and district administration.

However, questions remain over the fate of unsold inventory of BS 4 vehicles. The Supreme Court recently allowed sale and registration of BS 4 vehicles for ten days after the end of the coronavirus lockdown, which was supposed to end on April 15. Only limited and conditional sale and registration of not more than 10 per cent pending BS 4 stock with vehicle dealers were allowed.

Now, with the coronavirus lockdown extended, the showrooms are set to remain shut till May 3. The sale of remaining BS 4 vehicles can only happen between May 4 and 13. According to FADA, India has more than 7 lakh unsold BS 4 vehicles, including two-wheelers.

Some of the automakers have confirmed that they will absolve their remaining BS 4 inventory. But even then, it is unlikely that all the remaining BS 4 vehicles can be sold off.

With the auto industry recording one of the worst months in March as far as sales is concerned, there are hopes and efforts to resume operations at production facilities at some of the plants with minimal workforce. But the cost of unsold and outdated BS 4 inventory will add to the woes of an already bleeding industry.

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