Italian two- and three-wheeler major Piaggio Vehicles has received BS-VI compliance certification for its three-wheeler CNG engine from ARAI and it expects its entire product portfolio to be upgraded to the new technology by the year-end, a top company official said. The new vehicle norms, Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI), are to come into place from April 1 next year and the domestic auto industry has been gearing up for its seamless implementation. Piaggio Vehicles India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Italy's Piaggio Group. Besides selling the iconic Vespa and Aprilia brands of scooters, it is also a leading player in the diesel three-wheeler segment.
"We have received the certification for our BS-VI CNG engine from ARAI on September 25, much ahead of the schedule. It has made us the first player in the segment to get such a certification in the run-up to the BS-VI implementation. "We will soon start production for alternative fuel segment and subsequently launch the product as well," Piaggio Vehicles India Managing Director and Chief Executive Diego Graffi told in an interaction. The Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) is the automotive testing body, affiliated to the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
Graffi said the company is in the process of getting BS-VI compliance certification for the diesel engine and two-wheelers as well, which are expected to come by October-November, adding that transition across products and engine will be completed before the year-end. "We started our preparations for BS-VI norms at least two-and-half-years ago. Therefore, we are much ahead of the April 2020 deadline and well-placed for the transition," he said.
He said the company is investing Rs 350 crore in its commercial vehicle business alone and as much as 50 per cent of these funds would go into the implementation of the new engine technology. "We have validated a three-year investment plan (2019-21) of around Rs 350 crore only related to commercial vehicles and half of that is for BS-VI compliance. Besides, we are also investing around Rs 100 crore in our two-wheelers," he said.