New Truck Axle Norms 10-15% Price Hikes
Truck marketers say the new axle norms will boost replacement demand as “customers renew their fleet in line with productivity requirements,” said Aggarwal.
Chennai: The new axle loads for trucks announced by the government may require commercial vehicle OEMs to not only change the engine but also tyres and brakes of some of their existing truck models allowing them to lug heavier loads. As a result, these models will need to be homologated afresh, pushing the heavy truck segment prices by 10-15% price when the new norms get into the market in 6-8 months.
“Right now all OEMs are making the necessary changes for new axle load norms. Earlier, for example, a 37 GVW truck was hauled by a 180 hp engine but now that same truck has to carry 42.5 GVW load for which it will need a 230-250 hp engine,” said Vinod Aggarwal, MD, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles.
For the new axle norms, he added, “both engines and tyres will change so there will be an increase in cost for the customer.”
Of course, the government rules say while the OEMs go back to ARAI for homologation of new trucks, the existing trucks can be registered with new load norms. Effectively for all BS-IV trucks under production there is no need for fresh homologation.
“Though engine change is not needed by law, with new axle loading norms the GVW of all trucks have gone up by 17-20%. Hence such higher load will need a more powerful engine to carry the load effectively and operate at good speed,” said Vinod Sahay, CEO, Mahindra Truck and Bus, Mahindra & Mahindra. As for tyres, in case of new trucks such as “BS-VI trucks which needs fresh homologation, there would be a need to change tyres in many trucks, if the existing top speed of 80KMPH is to be retained,” he added.
Most of the re-engineered vehicles will take 6-8 months to hit the market.
“New axle load norms calls for re-engineering, validation and certification of the vehicles, and we are in advanced stages of introducing these vehicles. Engine output will be tweaked in many cases. Re-homologated vehicles will have changes in-terms of tyres, brakes etc. All these will add up to a cost. So, the landing price to customers will go up in case of the increased axle loads,” said Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors. .
Truck marketers say the new axle norms will boost replacement demand as “customers renew their fleet in line with productivity requirements,” said Aggarwal. However, not all load segments will impacted –trucks carrying lighter voluminous goods including two wheelers and cars will not be impacted.
Also given that BSVI is just 18 months away, pre-buying will continue to be strong.
“At the moment there is enough incentive for fleet owners to modernise their fleet with new BS IV trucks before BS VI kicks in,” said Sahay. “That realisation will come back and the pre-buying will pick up again.”