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That’s more than twice the average inventories seen at this time of the year.
Which is why it’s raining discount schemes: Maruti is offering discounts of anywhere between R10,000 and R60,000 while Honda, whose Amaze has been a hit, is giving discounts of R15,000 on the Brio and up to R1 lakh on the Accord. Not to be left behind, Hyundai is also offering discounts of around R30,000 on some models.
Puneet Gupta, associate director, IHS Automotive told FE that inventories lying with dealers were unusually high this year owing mostly to the carryover from the previous months. “While dealers usually stock up for 25-30 days ahead of the festive season, this time they have stocked up twice as much,” Gupta pointed out.
A Mahindra dealer wasn’t too enthusiastic about about festive-season sales of utility vehicles given rising diesel prices and the recent 3% increase in excise duty for SUVs to 30%. “Earlier we had waiting period for Mahindra products, but not any longer. There’s competition now in the SUV space with new players having come in, and moreover, they don’t have new launches for the festive season,” the dealer observed.
Industry is hoping the festive season will see some pent-up demand coming in – the economy has seen some stability in a recovering rupee, a steady stock market and rising exports. Manufacturers are hoping banks will offer loans at lower interest rates after the government’s move last week to give them additional capital. Passenger vehicle sales in April-August this year were down 5.30% year-on-year at 9.84 lakh units, while two-wheeler volumes were flat at 57.51 lakh units.