Eon to taste success over a period of time

Saturday 19 November 2011, 13:11 PM by

After setting an example with the new Fluidic Verna in the mid-size sedan segment, India’s second biggest carmaker Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) rolled out the carpet for its small car Eon last month. However, unexpectedly, Eon did not get an overwhelming response, owing to the high bank interest rates and fuel prices that have forced buyers to control their temptation. As a result, the company has managed to grab just 9,000 bookings for Eon, the car which came in with a goal to unsettle Maruti Suzuki’s position in the category.

It must be noted that Hyundai did receive around 96,000 enquiries for Eon since its launch on 13th October.

Arvind Saxena, Director, Marketing and Sales, HMIL conceded that the bookings had dodged the envisaged figures completely. “The market has been impacted by frequent hikes in interest rates and gasoline prices. Eon is for the entry-level buyer who is particularly sensitive to increase in lending rates. Many of our target consumers may have already availed of home loans and are now deferring purchases so as not to increase their outgo in EMIs”, said Saxena.

Eon to taste success over a period of time  | CarTrade.com
Hyundai Eon

As a matter of great concern, during the months of April and October, the sales in the A2 segment that includes Alto, WagonR, Estilo, A-Star, Eon, Santro, i10, Spark and Beat, has nosedived by 13.7 per cent to 1.01 million units.

According to sources close to the industry, the dealers were provided with 13,503 units of the Eon over the last two months, of which only 9,000 units have been sold.

Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India, stated, “Over 65 per cent of consumers who opt for Alto are first-time buyers who are less experimentative. They prefer established brands. Our products are known for their quality and low cost of ownership and therefore enjoy strong brand loyalty. Alto sales have dropped due to the overall slump in the market.”

During October, the A2 segment registered a share of 36.1 per cent in the overall passenger vehicle sales, as against 39.8 per cent previously.

Saxena, however, foresaw the sales to go up over the next few months, as soon as the interest rates show some mercy. He was assured that the annual sales target for Eon will not turn out to be fool's errand. The company expects to sell-off around 1,40,000 to 1,50,000 units of the car within a time span of one year.

HMIL has established 750 sales touch-points for the Eon in the past one year. Saxena said, “We asked our dealers to identify five probable sites around their outlets. We then set up three kinds of touch-points at these locations – we engaged salespersons with mobile vans at some places to offer demonstrations and test drives for the Eon.” The company plans to spike the touch-points to 1000 locations by the end of the year.

Thus, Hyundai must keep a vigil over the current performance of Eon so that each and every shortcoming can be corrected well in time.

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