The automobile industry has witnessed serious slump in auto sales this quarter thanks to the rising fuel prices and high interest rates. Now it has been reported in The Economic Times that this festive season, car manufacturers are doling out huge discounts to woo customers. It was reported that carmakers are keeping in mind the miserable past few months as sales dropped by 16 percent in July and 10 percent in August, and are now trying their best to woo customers back. The current slowdown in the Indian auto mart is crippling sales targets of the car industry, forcing them to sweeten the deals further.
While discounts are available on every model, it's the petrol variants that are grabbing the maximum share as the high price of fuel has made customers leery of buying these. Currently, petrol cars are coming with discounts as high as 25 percent on the ex-showroom prices, while diesel cars have a long waiting period for delivery.
The report stated that as companies and dealers struggle to increase footfalls and inquiries at showrooms for the first time in the past three years, cash discounts are being offered on many cars, including Tata Indica and Skoda fabia. It's a similar tale for the market leader, Maruti Suzuki India, which has also been grappling with a longstanding labour dispute at its Manesar plant. It too has increased discounts across its entire line-up. The report quoted Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer, marketing & sales, Maruti Suzuki as saying "Discounts are up by 20-22 percent since last year. The unfavourable market conditions are forcing companies to dole out higher freebies, especially on petrol cars which have lost sheen in the market.’’
According to the report, other than cash discounts, companies are offering free insurance and maintenance packages, gifting accessories and providing corporate benefits. Leading the pack are Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, Honda Siel Cars,Fiat Auto India, Volkswagen India and Toyota Kirloskar Motor. "These are tough times as the sales did not revive during the festivals of Onam and Ganesh Chaturthi in the southern and western markets. October, with the onset of navratras and stretching up to Diwali, should be better as the offerings from car companies have improved," says Arvind Saxena, director, marketing & sales, Hyundai Motor India, according to the report.