Car mak­ers shower dis­counts on models due for facelift

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL GONSALVES

IT is rain­ing dis­counts in the In­dian au­to­mo­bile mar­ket. A lot of car models, which are about to get a facelift, are be­ing rolled out of show­rooms on huge dis­counts. In some cases, the price cut is as high as Rs 1.5 lakh. The of­fers will last till Di­wali in Novem­ber, may be be­yond. “Car com­pa­nies are strug­gling with un­sold in­ven­tory piled up at deal­er­ships across the coun­try. That is why many are in­dulging in dis­counts and other gim­micks to des­per­ately woo buy­ers,” Shekar Viswanathan, vice chair­man & whole-time direc­tor at Toy­ota Kir­loskar Mo­tor told Fi­nan­cial Chron­i­cle.

“We have launched the Great Honda Fest for our cus­tomers since Septem­ber with var­i­ous of­fers to at­tract buy­ers,” a spokesper­son at the Ja­panese Honda Cars In­dia said.

Some brands are also lur­ing buy­ers with a week’s free leisure trip to Lon­don or Paris or the US too.

Heavy dis­counts in­clude free in­surance which go up to Rs 60,000 for some car models, ex­tended war­ranty, ex­change bonus, free ac­ces­sories, cor­po­rate dis­count, cash dis­count, loy­alty bonus and what not.

De­pend­ing on the car models from across brands such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Mahin­dra, Tata Mo­tors, Honda, Nis­san, Re­nault, among oth­ers, the min­i­mum dis­count is Rs 25,000 to Rs 45,000 for an en­try level car. The top dis­count is Rs 1.5 lakh.

The spokesper­son of Honda Cars In­dia said if a cus­tomer books and buys one of Honda car models be­fore Di­wali fes­ti­val in Novem­ber, he/she is el­i­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate in its con­test. “A to­tal of 68 win­ners will be sent on a free leisure trip to Lon­don and Paris and back on the cost of the com­pany.”

Over and above this, the brand is of­fer­ing free in­surance, ex­tended war­ranty, free ac­ces­sories which amount to Rs 45,000 for Honda Brio and Jazz models, Honda City Rs 62,000, Honda WR-V Rs 32,000 and Honda BR-V SUV Rs 1 lakh.

Korean brand Hyundai is also of­fer­ing dis­counts of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for its range of cars such as Grand i10, Elite i20, Elantra and oth­ers. But it does not of­fer any dis­count for its pop­u­lar and best sell­ing Hyundai Creta SUV. “The en­tire re­tain seg­ment is ac­cus­tomed to dis­counts dur­ing this fes­ti­val sea­son and car mar­ket is no ex­cep­tion,” Subrata Ray, se­nior group vice-pres­i­dent at Icra Re­search said.

He said car sales fell 2.7 per cent at 2.91 lakh units in July and it con­tin­ued to drop by 2.5 per cent to 2.87 lakh units in Au­gust. The So­ci­ety of In­dian Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers or Siam, a trade lobby, has not yet re­leased sales num­bers for Septem­ber. Car sales de­clined due to Ker­ala floods and higher base of last year and if sales do not pick up dur­ing the fes­ti­val sea­son, then it would be a slow­down for the in­dus­try, Ray said.

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