From cars to consumer durables, the festive season set cash registers ringing across products last week as most companies witnessed robust sales. However, gold jewellery, which normally leads Dhanteras shopping, saw only moderate demand.
Instead, it was the consumer electronics segment that saw major sales growth of about 35% on Friday, which is the first day of the five-day Diwali festivities and considered auspicious for shopping, over last year.
"Overall festive period has seen growth of 20%, but on Dhanteras day, the sales growth was 35% against last year," said Sanjeev Aggarwal, head (sales), LG India.
Sony said this year was one of its best Diwali days, while Korea's Samsung also witnessed daily sales doubling over the norm. "Pre-Diwali, our market-share was around 28% which has now grown to over 35%," claimed Sunil Nayyar, head, sales, Sony India.
In the automobile sector, which is battling a prolonged lull in demand, the Maruti Swift, Honda Amaze, Ford EcoSport and the newly-launched Hyundai Grand i10 led the sales charts.
Sales of the Swift rose 23.4% to 19,047 units in October over last year, as Maruti shipped more cars to its dealerships in anticipation of high demand.
Similarly, Honda's latest launch, the Amaze, hit a new high of 9,564 units in October, while in its second month, the Grand i10 hit peak monthly sales of 11,519 units. In Honda's case, this is the most that any of its models has sold in a single month in over a decade.
Maruti reported a 28% jump in sales on Dhanteras while for Hyundai sales went up by 17%, across models.
"In the depressed market environment, Dhanteras sales have given us a dose of confidence," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president (sales and marketing), Hyundai Motor India Ltd.
Recent curbs on import of gold, however, took the sheen off the yellow metal even though Dhanteras day is considered particularly auspicious for buying jewellery. Instead, people chose to buy diamond and platinum jewellery, which saw a demand spike.
"The demand for gold this year was down by 20%. But sales of diamonds is up 20% to 25%," said Mehul Choksi, managing director, Gitanjali Jems.
Tata group company Tanishq's spokesperson did not comment, but all other jewellers echoed Choksi's comments. "The sales were moderate as they grew by just 15%," said TS Kalyanaraman, managing director, Kalyan Jewellers.