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
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.