Auto dealers are wooing customers with bumper offers this December to clear inventories of cars that aren’t zipping out of the showrooms. The two largest carmakers in the country, Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki, which constitute around 65% of India’s passenger vehicle market, are offering the biggest discounts this December. Dealers of Maruti Suzuki are offering cash discounts of around Rs 25,000-30,000 on the Alto, depending on the variant, while the discount on Wagon R is about Rs 35,000. Dealerships in Delhi and Mumbai are also offering up to Rs 40,000 worth of cash discounts on Ertiga’s hybrid variant, which has seen sales drop since the roll-out of the goods and services tax (GST). Earlier, a 12.5% excise was levied on the hybrid model which after addition of local levies etc came to around 28%, compared with the current 43% (28% GST and 15% cess). A lesser discount of Rs 10,000 is being offered on Ertiga’s petrol variant, a fast-moving model. The company, however, is not offering any discounts on its high-selling models, Baleno, Vitara Brezza and the new Dzire, all of which demand high waiting periods.
Hyundai is also offering big discounts on most of its compact cars. Dealers across Mumbai and Delhi are offering a hefty Rs 80,000-90,000 discount on the Grand i10, one of the Korean company’s best sellers. This translates to a big 12-20% off on the standard prices. On the Elite i20, cash discounts range from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000, depending on the variant and whether the model is available at the dealership.
The company is not giving discounts on its SUV Creta, which is doing exceedingly well in a market with high appetite for SUVs. A Hyundai dealer based in Mumbai said, “We are also offering a discount on exchange of an additional Rs 25,000-35,000, depending on the model being exchanged and its condition.” Honda Cars, which usually does not offer any discounts, is also offering a cash discount on Honda Jazz of about Rs 15,000-20,000. It is not offering any discounts on other models. According to analysts, discounts remain high as the festive off-take in October was lower than expected, leading to higher inventory with the dealerships. December is generally a slow month for car sales, as most of the buying happens in the festive months of September and October. So, traditionally, to clear the year’s inventory, manufacturers offer attractive discounts.
In the two-wheeler space, Hero MotoCorp is offering cash discounts of about Rs 1,500 across its range. A Hero MotoCorp dealer said: “There is an additional discount of `3,000 if the customer pays through Paytm.” Mumbai-based auto major Tata Motors is not offering any cash discounts on any of its next generation models, said dealers. The Nexon, which was launched at a competitive introductory price starting Rs 5.85 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), will also get costlier by Rs 25,000 in January.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India is also not offering any discounts at the moment. One of its dealerships in Mumbai said discounts will not be needed to clear inventory in December as production will be halted on December 15. With two-wheeler sales growing at a healthy pace, neither the automakers nor their dealers are unduly concerned about inventory, and that is reflected in their resisting the discounting trend.