In a major development, car makers have to now literally race against time to meet the 2020 deadline
for the highest emission norm of Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI). The manufacturers are required to reduce
nitrogen oxide (NOx) and control particulate matter emission as they head from current BS-IV to
The government has decided to advance implementation of BS-VI to April 2020, which was initially
set for 2021. Last year in November, it had advanced BS-VI norms by three years to 2021 and BS-V
norms by an equal number of years to 2019. However, not the government has decided to skip the
BS-V norms altogether.
“We will need to do the same work in four years against the earlier time frame of six-seven years.
We will have to tweak our product plans. For the new launches that will happen 2020 onward, it will
be possible to meet BS-VI norms provided fuel is available across the country. For the existing
models, a transitory provision has to be allowed,” said CV Raman, Executive Director at Maruti
Suzuki. Though, it is learnt that the industry is seeking an additional two year period to upgrade the
Currently, there are more challenges for the diesel vehicles to meet the sixth level of emission
norms. Along with calibrating the diesel particulate filter to control particulate matter, the
manufacturers will have to ensure its reliability according to Indian conditions. The calibration of the
NOx control system would be followed by it.
In these consecutive steps, the manufacturers will also have to keep an open eye on price
fluctuations. After all, the higher prices are going to affect the purchasing power parity of customers.
Once BS-VI is implemented, the price of BS-VI petrol cars may go up by Rs 15,000-20,000 while
diesel passenger vehicles will be expensive by Rs 80,000-100,000.
It needs a change in the road map of product planning. The new products which were being
considered before will have to follow the norms of BS-VI. The price value equation also needs to be
adhered to. “The changes in regulation have brought in challenges towards ensuring these
requirements as it involves advancing the changes in products, necessitating additional investment
by the supply chain and product operations,” said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president at
At present, we have BS-IV norms in select cities and BSIII norms in rest of the country due to non-
availability of fuel. . The key problem is the high sulphur content in BS-IV fuel. However, if BS-VI
fuel gets used in a BS-III or IV vehicle, there is no negative impact.