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Automakers offer discounts, schemes to woo buyers during festive season

Shally Seth Mohile/Mumbai 11 Oct 18 | 03:09 PM

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Passenger vehicle makers are pulling all stops to woo buyers with attractive schemes and offers this festive season that began with Navratra on Wednesday after the dry spell of Shraadh. The period of festivals till Diwali is critical for auto companies as they account for almost a third of their annual sales. The sales push this year comes in a market that has seen demand sputter amid rising petrol prices, high-interest rates and floods in some states. Not leaving anything to chance, automakers are offering schemes even on best-selling models that are relatively new in its life-cycle.

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In Maruti Suzuki’s case, Mumbai buyers can avail benefit up to Rs 25,000, including exchange bonus and accessories on the company’s best-seller Baleno. Similarly, Hyundai Motor India too is offering benefits up to Rs 40, 000 on the new Verna.

Consumers of the new Honda Amaze can avail extended warranty worth Rs 12,000 for the fourth and fifth year.  Even Mahindra XUV500 customers can benefit up to Rs 36,000. Even Toyota Yaris is also offering to grant profit worth Rs 20,000 as an exchange bonus. 

Except for Baleno, all aforementioned models were introduced this calendar year. Usually, companies would not offer any form of schemes on a model that has gone on sale recently, but this year seems different, said a dealer of a company. “It shows nervousness and lack of confidence among the manufacturers," he added.

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“Unlike last year, when offers were confined to select models, this year it seems to be a lot more broad-based across model line-up and companies," said Mitul Shah, an analyst at Reliance Securities pointing that discounts have gone up marginally compared to a year-ago period.

The schemes for older models in the line-up are even more attractive. According to industry estimates, on an average, an offer on the model is 5 to 10 per cent higher over the last year. The average benefit on Maruti model is around Rs 30,000 to 32,000 in Delhi, said company’s spokesperson.

A Maruti dealer said though the offers are same as last year’s festive season, the demand has been “sluggish". A Maruti Suzuki India spokesperson declined to comment on offers.

“We have ramped up the availability of popular models such as Baleno, Swift, Dzire and Vitara Brezza and are ready to meet the increased customer rush during the festive season," RS Kalsi, executive director sales and marketing said in a statement.

As part of the anniversary offer, Hyundai is giving cash benefits equivalent to second and third-year third party insurance. “We are celebrating 20 years in India and instead of giving cash discounts, we have introduced value-based schemes such as free insurance, lower maintenance, etc," said Puneet Anand, Hyundai senior general manager and group marketing head. Hyundai will launch the new Santro on Diwali. On the back of the new Santro and anniversary offer, he expects the festive season to make up for the tepid sales in the last two months.

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Tata Motors, which has seen its passenger vehicles sales climb up steadily, is also offering lucrative benefits starting from Rs 47,000 to Rs 98,000 across all models. It’s also giving an assured gift with purchase of every Tata car.  “The industry is definitely under stress," said S N Barman, vice president, sales, marketing and customer support at Tata Motors. But Barman is confident of Tata Motors doing better this year and envisages closing this festive season with a double-digit growth over last year.

Veejay Nakra, senior vice president – sales and marketing at Mahindra’s automotive said the offers on M&M models are in line with last year’s. “Going by the enquiries and bookings, we are reasonably confident of a good festive season," he said. Offers on M&M passenger vehicle models range from Rs 29,000 to Rs 64,000, said a dealer.

A Honda Cars India spokesperson said that as part of the company's annual ‘The Great Honda Fest’, it is running a special promotion across all its dealerships from September 1 to November 7 this year. Besides getting benefits like free insurance, extended warranty, etc., customers can avail a chance to win a paid trip to London and Paris.  Meanwhile, with the exception of its best-selling Fortuner and Innova models, Toyota is offering benefits from Rs 30,000 to 50,000 across its model line-up, said N Raja, deputy managing director at Toyota Kirloskar. Raja expects the festive season to be as good as last year.

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