PUT YOUR SEAT BELTS ON

The launch of new cars, re­vamp of older mod­els and a flood of dis­counts in the fes­tive sea­son are lur­ing buy­ers and perk­ing up flag­ging car sales

India Today - - AUTO - By Yo­gen­dra Pratap

Just like stocks, the best time to buy cars is when the mar­kets are down. Af­ter a year of stag­nant sales and a de­pressed mar­ket, things are fi­nally look­ing up for the coun­try’s au­to­mo­tive mar­ket. It is that time of the year when cars, like most prod­ucts in the coun­try, record their best sales. The fes­tive sea­son is usu­ally marked by sweet deals which in­clude huge dis­counts on ex­ist­ing cars along with launches of new ve­hi­cles and in­tro­duc­tion of ren­o­vated mod­els. This means cus­tomers are lit­er­ally spoilt for choice. The buyer who has been wait­ing to pur­chase his/ her dream car can se­lect from the wide va­ri­ety of op­tions that are now avail­able in the mar­ket.

Buy­ers can take ad­van­tage of the fact that many man­u­fac­tur­ers are look­ing to clear out their in­ven­tory be­fore launch­ing newer mod­els in the mar­ket. With new cars all set to be in­tro­duced, man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer huge dis­counts on the old mod­els be­fore their sales are per­ma­nently dis­con­tin­ued. Th­ese old cars can prove to be a good deal for the buyer es­pe­cially if he is look­ing to drive it for at least five years. Not only will the pur­chase be value for money, this op­por­tu­nity will al­low him to af­ford a car that might have been out of his reach, in terms of bud­get, ear­lier. And even when he de­cides to re­place the car af­ter five to six years, he will get a de­cent re­sale price.

De­pressed mar­ket con­di­tions are the best time for dis­counts also be­cause deal­ers want to move their in­ven­tory and are happy to give up a large part of their mar­gins to keep the stock mov­ing.

How­ever, most of the SUV deal­ers are not fac­ing any such prob­lem. The

A DE­PRESSED MAR­KET IS THE BEST TIME FOR DIS­COUNTS BE­CAUSE DEAL­ERS WANT TO MOVE THEIR IN­VEN­TORY AND GIVE UP A LARGE PART OF THEIR MAR­GINS.

avail­abil­ity of SUVS at af­ford­able rates, an in­crease in use of pri­vate ve­hi­cles for in­ter- city and in­tra- city travel, and a gen­eral aware­ness about cars have all led to the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of

SUVS in the coun­try. Be it the Toy­ota For­tuner with its im­pos­ing pres­ence, the com­pact Ford EcoSport with a fru­gal engine, the stylish Re­nault Duster or home­grown Mahin­dra XUV500— In­di­ans are clearly root­ing for the SUVS. In fact, Ford had to stop tak­ing book­ings for the EcoSport, so as to keep the wait­ing pe­riod to man­age­able lev­els. Even while there has been a slump in car sales, the only show­rooms that have seen some traf­fic are ones that sell SUVS. The car com­pa­nies have taken note of this trend and start­ing this fes­tive sea­son, there is go­ing to be a flood of SUVS that will be hit­ting the mar­kets.

For the picky In­dian car buyer, fuel- ef­fi­ciency con­tin­ues to be one of the most im­por­tant cri­te­ria for se­lect­ing a car. To help prospec­tive buy­ers, we have com­piled a list­ing of the most fuel- ef­fi­cient cars as tested by Auto Bild In­dia, an In­dia To­day Group pub­li­ca­tion.

The au­to­mo­bile mar­ket is also wit­ness­ing a sea change when it comes to tech­nol­ogy. While diesel en­gines are usu­ally con­sid­ered to be tech­ni­cally ad­vanced and ef­fi­cient, petrol en­gines are also catch­ing up. In­dia is also adapt­ing to the Ja­panese tech­nol­ogy of hy­brid cars. Toy­ota will be the first com­pany in the coun­try to as­sem­ble a hy­brid car in the coun­try. The Toy­ota Camry Hy­brid is ex­pected to have fuel ef­fi­ciency that will be bet­ter than many of the small cars and hatch­backs. Even though Toy­ota is alone in tak­ing this ini­tia­tive for now, ex­perts say that it is only a mat­ter of time be­fore other com­pa­nies fol­low suit.

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