The proverbial saying, 'desperate times call for desperate measures', is directly applicable to the condition of automobile manufacturers in the Indian auto car market. Auto makers in the country are resorting to different strategies and tactics in order to lure customers. Things have been quite slow and the demand for cars is on a decline, which is considered to be one of the worst for the past decade. Car sales, badly hit by the slowdown and crisis, in the country went down for a record eighth month in succession. The low demand, coupled with fall in the value of rupee and hike in fuel prices, has forced auto makers to stop production to prevent the pile up of inventory. In lieu of this, the auto makers are introducing interesting packages and schemes to attract customers. Some of these offers include special interest rates, cash discounts and free insurance, among others.
According to the reports issued by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), there has been a decline in the number of vehicles sold. The sales of domestic cars for the month of June this year were 139632 units as compared to 153450 units in the corresponding period last year. Keeping these circumstances in mind, the industry body has asked for a stimulus package from the government.
Maruti Suzuki is offering a discount of up to Rs. 50000 on the purchase of SX4, a diesel sedan. It is also giving a discount on a lot of other models to woo customers. The Indian auto maker has announced that a discount of Rs. 30000 is available on all versions of the WagonR hatchback. Apart from the WagonR, discounts of Rs. 28000, Rs. 24000, Rs. 25000 and Rs. 7500 can be availed on Alto 800, AltoK10, Ritz and Omni van, respectively. Also, the petrol variant of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga comes with a discount of Rs. 25000 on its petrol variant. Maruti Suzuki has also some schemes other than discounts to attract buyers. It has introduced special edition models of the Swift hatchback and the Swift DZire compact sedan.
Following the bandwagon, Tata Motors has introduced an exchange scheme for the Nano with a two-wheeler. “Tata Nano customers can avail an exchange scheme which also has a 2-wheeler exchange programme," a spokesperson from Tata Motors said. The Indian automobile giants are also providing a bonus of Rs. 30000 for existing customers for the purchase of the Safari Storme. Along with this, there is an exchange bonus offer involving the Tata Sumo worth Rs. 15000. “In the hatchback segment we are currently offering an exchange scheme on the Tata Vista. In addition we are associating with HDFC and TMF (Tata Motor Finance) to offer a 3.99 per cent interest rate on the Tata Manza Club class,” the spokesperson from Tata further added.
Honda, the Japanese auto maker, has launched offers like free insurance on some of its most lucrative models. The manufacturer recently launched the Amaze compact sedan, which has enjoyed a lot of success in the Indian market. “We are giving insurance at Re 1 on certain variants of City and Brio, as part of sales promotion. However, there is no offer currently on Brio Automatic, CRV and top end of City and even Amaze,” said a Honda Cars India official.
German auto makers Volkswagen are also in the race of providing discounts and offers to its customers. Some of these offers include the 'fully loaded' scheme for cars Polo and Vento. According to which, customers can get the Polo and Vento by paying 20 per cent of the cost, followed by EMIs for 36 months that are Rs. 9999 for the former and Rs. 14699 for the latter.