The next fortnight would perhaps be the best time for anybody looking to buy a car as manufacturers battered by low demand for the last few months and grappling with high inventories are doling out generous discounts before the end of the year.
Traditionally December sees the highest level of discounts as consumers prefer to wait for the new year before making a purchase while car companies are looking at exhausting their existing stocks. But a bleak festive season for the sector as indicated by the contraction in the IIP data released on Monday means high inventories and hence higher discounts.
"For anybody looking to buy a car especially a petrol car, the next 15 days would ofcourse be the best time," said Arvind Saxena, director (marketing and sales), Hyundai Motor India Ltd. "Compared to October and November, the level of discounts is definitely higher this month."
On an average for a petrol small car, discounts range between Rs 40,000-80,000. This despite the fact that depreciation of the rupee that hit an all time low on Monday has made import of components dearer thus squeezing margins for carmakers.
While carmakers are holding back launching new products, another tool that helps in fuelling demand, till the Auto Expo next month, consumer durable makers are betting on new improved products to increase sales.
“The twin effects of high inflation and rupee depreciation have indeed weakened consumer sentiment,” said a Samsung India spokeswoman adding that the firm would create excitement by introduction of new products and technological innovations.
YV Verma, chief operating officer of LG Electronics India said the company is working on various modalities to drive market share in the current environment where consumer sentiment has weakened.