Festive cheer is largely missing in automobile showrooms around the country as business during Dhanteras on Monday, traditonally the day on which the country sees the largest number of vehicles sold in a year, were on the lower side.
Top carmakers Maruti, Hyundai and Tata reported significantly lower customer interest than the previous two years. The situation is only slightly better for newly-launched vehicles.
“The excitement this year is not as high as it was last year,” said Arvind Saxena, director (sales and marketing), Hyundai Motor India Ltd “There is a lot of footfalls for the Eon, launched recently, but demand for older cars remains low. Due to Eon, we will still grow but industry growth would be marginal at best.”
Traditionally, the number of cars sold on Dhanteras goes up by 250%.
However, companies like Toyota and Honda, which have recently launched small cars, are faring better.
“Footfalls at our showrooms have more than doubled and demand for the Etios and Liva has really gone up,” said Sandeep Singh, deputy MD, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd.
Overall, it looks like the start of a long and harsh winter for the industry.