Indian automakers are betting big with new car launches to steer growth this festive season. The automobile industry saw 16 new launches in three months, and six launches are expected over the next two months.

New car launches included Maruti Suzuki Invicto, Maruti Suzuki Jimny, Mercedes-AMG SL55, Honda Elevate, new BMW M2, Volkswagen Virtus GT 1.5 TSI, new Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q8 e-tron. During the festival season, new launches and unveilings are likely from Volo, Jeep India, and Mercedes-Benz India.

“New launches are driving the growth in the industry and we expect festive sales this year to be good, starting with Onam. To keep the festive spirit high, we will continue to introduce new products and variants at regular intervals, to sustain consumer excitement for our products,” said Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd. and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd.

Companies are also ‘facelifting’ their popular vehicle models.

“The festive period starts with Onam and has witnessed a good beginning. There has been a 25 per cent increase in bookings in Kerala. This year the festive season is more than 80 days and the sales are expected to touch the 1 million mark in the industry. The previous highest sale was recovered with 9,35,000 vehicles in 2021 during the festive period owing to the pent up demand. However, rainfall in August has been negative which impacts the rural sentiment. The interest rate could go up,” said Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer, Marketing & Sales of Maruti Suzuki India.

Companies are also offering discounts and offers on their entry-level car segment, anticipating an uptick in sales.

“There are attractive offers, finance schemes, and exchange bonus benefits for consumers,” added Shailesh Chandra.

Ramping up production

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) have also ramped up production of their popular car models to cater to the demand uptick during the festive season.

“Our increased production capacity and the sustained demand for our SUVs makes us optimistic about a vibrant festive season ahead, potentially surpassing last year’s performance. We expect to have a strong festive season and maintain our market leadership in the commercial vehicle segment as well,” said Nalinikanth Gollagunta, CEO of the Automotive Division, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.

“We have already seen a surge in inquiries and bookings. Witnessing such an anticipated demand, we are proactively aligning ourselves to fully capitalise on this opportune period,” said Yogesh Mathur, the Director of Sales and marketing at Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India.

New trend

Luxury car makers are seeing a shift in purchase patterns, with consumers opting for vehicle deliveries during the festive season.

“We are seeing a new trend of customers turning ‘festive period agnostic’ as they are planning their vehicle purchases way to avoid delays in deliveries, due to prolonged waiting periods for some specific models. Customers are now planning deliveries during the festive period to cherish the occasion with their families on auspicious festive dates. The customer sentiment seems positive owing to strong market performance. This year should be our best festive, as we have a very robust demand owing to new launches and a strong order bank,” said Santosh Iyer, Managing Director & CEO of Mercedes Benz India.