Following petrol price hike, car manufacturers offer discounts to lure buyers

Friday 25 May 2012, 22:27 PM by

Leading car makers of India like Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), Tata Motors and Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) announced limited period discount offers of up to Rs. 50,000 on the petrol variants of their vehicles. This was following the highest ever hike of Rs. 7.5 per litre in petrol prices by the government-run Indian Oil Corporation.

In order to support the reducing sales of its top selling model Alto, which runs on petrol, during recent months, the largest car manufacturer of the country, Maruti Suzuki, is offering a discount of Rs. 30,000 on the model. On the other hand, its competitor Tata Motors' petrol variants in Indica and Indigo series can be bought with discounts ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000. Likewise, Hyundai Motor has slashed the prices of its entire range of petrol vehicles by Rs. 3,000.

Hyundai India was the first company to initiate a marketing strategy in order to regulate the sales volume of its petrol cars just a day after the steepest price hike in the history. The South Korean car maker has launched a new campaign, named ‘Petrol Price Lock Assurance', wherein it offers discounts in the range of Rs. 3,000 on petrol variants of its Eon, Santro, i10, i20, Accent and Verna models. Through this initiative, the company is paying the difference of the hiked rate of petrol for next seven months and, thus, protecting the customers from the price rise. Director, Marketing and Sales, Hyundai Motor India, Arvind Saxena, said, “The price hike is severe and we need to soften the blow for our customers.”

This is an additional offer from the car maker besides the 5-Star Assurance Scheme, which was announced for the Santro and i10 models. Under this initiative, the company promises a comprehensive service package, ranging from maintenance to roadside assistance. The latest offer from the company can be availed by the customers till May 31 2012 only. Car makers whose portfolio comprises larger number of petrol models, such as Maruti and Honda Siel, may follow suit to retain the sales. The auto industry has been forced to take a defensive stance, since the price hike will ensure further reduction in the volumes.

Mayank Pareek, Managing Executive Officer - Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India, said, "Sales of entry level cars are getting affected in recent months due to very high fuel prices. Sales of Alto is falling and to boost sales of the car, we will offer discounts of Rs. 30,000 till month-end." He added further that the sales of its offering in small car segment, Alto, have declined to a monthly average of about 20,000 to 22,000 units, which stood at 25,000 to 28,000 earlier. He said that the other petrol models provided by it in the country are available with rebates ranging from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000.

Reacting to the price slash, a spokesperson of Tata Motors said, "We are offering discounts on the petrol variants of Indica and Indigo family. The rebate will vary between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 50,000 depending on the model." About its people car, Nano, the company said that there are discount schemes every month and this month it is available with a discount of Rs. 10,000.

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