Now is the time to buy a petrol car

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on November 13, 2017


Its raining discounts and freebies on petrol cars this month as companies look to buck the ‘model year' syndrome and clear rising stocks. Diesel cars, however, are not being incentivised by most as the demand for such models still continues to outstrip supply.

The year-end factor

Most companies try to incentivise sales in December every year as it is felt that buyers generally prefer not to buy cars in the last month and wait till January for purchases.

By waiting a month, the date of registration of the vehicle would be for the next year, giving them a higher price upon resale. This leads to a sharp drop in December sales for most manufacturers.

An up to Rs 64,000 lower price benefit is available on new petrol cars starting from the compact segment from carmakers such as General Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Honda. This is part of a combined offer, which includes free insurance and maintenance, freebies and other benefits such as a loyalty bonus.

“Petrol versions have higher discounts because manufacturers want to clear inventory. We have been giving offers since October,” Mr P. Balendran, Vice-President at General Motors India (GMI), told Business Line.

“Our December sales are expected to be at best similar to November. We should see an upward movement only around April-May, depending on the Budget proposals and with other enablers such as interest rates in place,” said Mr Balendran.

Mr Abdul Majeed, Partner at PwC, added, “After the festival season, sales dip in December, plus with new launches coming next year, it makes sense to clear off inventories now.”

What's on offer

GMI is offering discount in the Rs 33,000 (Beat) to Rs 64,000 (Spark) range across nearly all of its petrol models. Interestingly, the highest discount is on the cheapest car in its portfolio. Honda Siel is offering freebies like a GPS system for the Civic and Accord sedans.

Only for December, Hyundai is offering Rs 50,000 off on the i10 hatch, Rs 34,000 on the Santro and Rs 10,000 on the Verna petrol. This includes an exchange offer. “The best offers are on right now, but diesels have no discount. Wholesales in December will be lower than last month, though retail should be good,” Mr Arvind Saxena, Director of Marketing and Sales, Hyundai Motor India said.

Maruti's December

A departure form the rest, Maruti Suzuki, felt that December sales could be one of the highest in the year after March. The leading carmaker is also offering higher discounts on petrol cars over other months.

“It's a myth that December sees lower sales, as has been proved by six out of the last seven years. Higher discounts offered and rumours of price hikes in January tend to push customers to buy in December,” said Mr Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager of Marketing, Maruti Suzuki.

Maruti's sales are expected to rise this month as it looks to service a large order backlog accumulating over the last many months. Its Manesar plant has just managed to normalise operations after a series of three labour strikes this year.


Published on December 19, 2011

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