The festive season has just passed and left everyone with joy in their hearts, including the automobile manufacturing industry, in the form of hundreds and thousands of personal vehicle bookings. It is often during the month of Diwali when exact number forecasts can be made for potential vehicle sales in India since it’s our biggest festival and seldom are these forecasts wrong or even misplaced.
The most popular day for new car deliveries is Dhanteras, as it is considered very auspicious a day to bring home metal or metal commodities. Millions of Indians all over the world bring home utensils, silver and gold coins or jewellery and – you guessed it – new cars or bikes home on this day. However, though this day does induce the festive spending bug amongst most of us, it doesn’t determine if the slowdown that the automotive industry has been facing will be coming to an end. It did serve as a massive break for most automotive manufacturers as people booked cars and motorcycles by the thousands, and none have been as excited about this festival as our very beloved Maruti Suzuki.
The Indian automotive manufacturer scored record-breaking sales and deliveries of, 45,000 cars on Dhanteras itself. Almost all automotive manufacturers have reported considerable sales hikes of nearly ten per cent, in the week leading up to Dhanteras.
Other automobile manufacturers followed suit behind Maruti. Mahindra sold 13,500 vehicles, Hyundai Motor India sold 12,500 cars. Kia breaking all records for a single model sales and sold 2,138 units of the Seltos alone. British manufacturer MG was at 700 unit sales of the Hector and Mercedes Benz with 600 units.
Taking a closer look at the figures of this season’s star – Maruti Suzuki, we realise that almost all numbers have dropped when compared to last year. However, when looking at the displacement of figures between August and September this year, we see a positive climb in the figures for almost all models being built by the manufacturer.
Dzire sales fell by almost 6,000 units between September ’18 and August ’19 but climbed over 2,000 units in just a month, by September ’19. Brezza sales fell by half, between September last year and August this year, and yet rose by 3,000 units in a month, come September ’19. Ertiga sales nearly doubled between September ’18 and August ’19, and again fell by over 2,000 units in September ’19. The newcomer S-Presso recorded an impressive 5,000 units being sold post-launch in the month that followed. The newcomer XL6 sold sixty per cent more units in September than it did in August this year.
Eeco is the only car to have recorded a consistent positive climb of fifteen per cent in sales between September ’18 to August ’19 and till the end of September ’19. Celerio sales halved in the last year and further dropped another thirteen per cent just between August and September ’19. Ciaz declined to sell nearly one-fourth the units it sold last year, by August ’19 and managed a meek 200 unit sales climb this September. Alto, though had a bad drop of thirty per cent in sales, quickly recovered by a rise in five thousand units just between August and September ’19. Ignis sales too were halved in the last year, and September ’19 saw them fall further by over two hundred units.
Omni and Gypsy – the two oldest flagship models by Maruti Suzuki bid farewell to the shelves this year as the company finally pulled the plug on their production lines because they were slowly going obsolete.
The key factor to this brilliant sales boost for Maruti wasn’t just the festival of Dhanteras. Cleverly disguised as festive offers, the company offered huge discounts and considerable reductions in their prices to woo customers and help the company recover from the year-long slowdown. The drop in corporate taxation rates is sure to give breathing and growing space to the struggling industry. Though the current fiscal year hasn’t been the best of allies, the tax cuts are surely a relief and are expected to help companies get back on their feet.
It is in support of these tax cuts that Maruti Suzuki announced further reduction in car prices starting from a base amount of Rs.45,000, in effect from the 25th of September this year and offered on almost all their carried forward models from the previous years. These price cuts will go as high as Rs.100,000 on the Vitara Brezza variants, and up to Rs.80,000 and Rs.90,000 thousand for the Swift and Dzire cars respectively.