Auto companies offer freebies to revive sales
As sales slowed to a crawl, carmakers have pulled out all stops by offering unprecedented discounts to potential customers, in a bid to revive sales and reduce inventory pileup. From incentives to two wheeler owners to buy new cars, potential customers have been offered trips, cash offers and freebies that start from Rs 35,000 for popular cars to almost Rs 2 lakh on premium cars.
Customers preferring Maruti's most popular offering — the Alto800 — have a three-day paid trip to holiday destinations in India as the carmaker gives a fillip to sales and correct swelling inventories. The customer has to pay Rs 1,399, for availing the trip. German carmaker Volkswagen's Indian subsidiary has an offer that gives a customer an option to own a Vento sedan by paying half the cost of its flagship car upfront, against the regular price of about Rs 8 lakh, with the balance amount paid in the following year.
In certain extreme cases, cars are even made available to customers at almost interest-free loans. Japanese carmaker Toyota is sharing three instalments, commonly called equated monthly instalment, or EMI, on loans taken by a new Etios customer. Honda Car India is offering 0.01% interest rate for Brio and City. Honda is also enticing customers who are using its bikes and scooters to upgrade to cars by offering huge loyalty bonuses.
|Vehicle||Discount and Freebies|
|Maruti Suzuki Alto 800||Rs 30,000 + Customer trip|
|Maruti Suzuki WagonR||Rs 45,000|
|Hyundai Santro||Rs 40,000 + Rs 10,000 rebate|
|Hyundai i10||Rs 37,000 + Rs 5,000 exchange bonus|
|Volkswagen Vento||Delivery at half price of Rs 4 lakh|
|Honda||0.01% interest rates|
|Toyota||Free 3 EMIs|
|Audi A6||Annual EMI discount of up to Rs 7 lakh|
"We are tapping the larger customer base of the two-wheeler market by offering loyalty bonus of up to Rs 20,000 a car to anyone owning a Honda branded motorcycle or scooter," says Jnaneshwar Sen, Honda senior vice president (marketing & sales).
"The fresh bouquet of schemes has fired up the market. We haven't seen such rebates and interest schemes in the past four years. We expect to gain sales momentum in the last week to register decent tally in February," says Rakesh Srivastava, vice-president (marketing & sales) Hyundai Auto India.