“I had it booked in May, but wanted it only on Dhanteras,” says Jaspal Singh, a Delhi-based businessman. Dhanteras that comes ahead of Diwali is so auspicious that he deliberately held back taking delivery of his Maruti Swift so that he could get the keys to his vehicle on the day considered best to buy metal goods.
Singh is one of the estimated 25,000 people who bought their cars on Thursday. Two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto also reported its highest single-day sales of 30,000 units on that day.
The near trebling of sales on Dhanteras is a fitting climax to the record automobiles in the festive season that kicked off in September with the Navratri.
The robust sales this year mark a contrast from the previous Diwali, when the global recession and its local fallout had hit consumer sentiment.
Though detailed statistics are still being collated, demand is near all-time highs.
Honda Siel Cars ndia sold 1,200 cars on Thursday, said Jnaneshwar Sen, vice-president, marketing, describing the current season as “one of the best.” The day count was high as monthly sales total between 5,000 and 6,000, he said.
Toyota also witnessed a 130 per cent surge, delivering 540 of its sedans and sports utility vehicles on the day.
The buying wave also greeted gold and silver.
Gold has generated a return of 12.5 per cent over the past six months but silver has outperformed gold with a return of 30.5 per cent in the same period. Since January, silver has risen 59 per cent, while gold is up 22.7 per cent.
“Silver is more of an industrial metal and a rise in industrial activity, and, with the fear of recession behind us, the prices have surged heavily,” said Jayant Manglik, president, Religare Commodities.
There is a supply shortage in silver, which is mostly derived as a byproduct of base metals such as copper, lead, zinc.
Manglik said producers had cut output and supplies looked grim amid talk of a production drop in Peru and strikes in some copper mines.
Industrial output grew 10.4 per cent year-on-year in August, the highest in 22 months, triggering hopes of a strong rebound.
Manufacturing grew by 10.2 per cent while consumer durables surged 22.3 per cent.