Discounts galore as carmakers look to beat sluggish demand

Manesar plant is hiring: Maruti

Carmakers including Honda Siel Cars, Tata Motors, Ford India and Maruti Suzuki are offering discounts worth up to around Rs 60,000 in a bid to cash in on the festive season amid a sluggish market.

The companies are offering customers various goodies in the form of cash discounts, free insurance, loyalty exchange bonus and accessories during the forthcoming festive season.

“We are offering special schemes for our customers during the festival season. A Re 1 insurance programme has been offered at Brio, City, Civic and Accord,” Honda Siel Cars India senior vice-president (Sales and Marketing) Jnaneswar Sen told agencies.

Depending upon the model, benefits and locations, the amount of discounts may go up to Rs 60,000, he added. Likewise, Ford India is also offering huge discounts to come out of the slowdown impact.

“Festive season is always very important for us. We are offering gift vouchers and loyalty exchange bonus to our customers. We started these offers from last month coinciding with Onam in Kerala and we received very good response,” Ford India vice-president (Marketing) Anurag Mehrotra said.

The company is giving accessories worth Rs 52,000 to buyers of its sports utility vehicle Endeavour, he added.

“If any customer comes to buy a new vehicle from us by exchanging his old Ford car, we are giving loyalty bonus of up to Rs 20,000,” Mehrotra said.

Besides, the company is also providing free insurance, along with some other benefits, of up to Rs 28,000 to the customers of its small car Figo, he added.

Homegrown auto major Tata Motors is also offering various discounts and schemes for its passenger vehicles.

“We do offer schemes for specific period and at present the discounts on our passenger vehicle range between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000 depending on the model,” a Tata Motors spokesperson said.

Similarly, market leader Maruti Suzuki India is also offering discounts on models like Alto, WagonR and Estilo between Rs 30,000 and Rs 35,000 in the form of free accessories or cash vouchers or a combination of both.

Hit by high interest rates, rising fuel prices, and inflationary pressures, carmakers have been struggling to keep sales counter ticking. In July, car sales in India grew by just 6.71 per cent.

According to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic car sales in July stood at 1,43,496 units as against 1,34,473 units in the same month last year.

Even luxury car makers are also giving various offers to sell their products. Mercedes-Benz India launched its festival campaign on September 1 and it will go on till October 15.

“During this period Mercedes-Benz India will gift customers, who purchase the Three Pointed Star, a unique opportunity to meet the Star of the racing world — Michael Schumacher along with an all-expenses paid trip to watch the Formula 1 race,” the company said.

The company will also gift 100 Grand Stand tickets of the 2012 Airtel Indian Grand Prix to customers, who visit the showroom and take test drives.

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