Car Enquiries Spike, As Prices Get Slashed
By Jonathan Ananda | Published: 20th February 2014 07:32 AM |
Car dealerships across the city are already reporting a steady rise in enquiries, ever since excise duty cuts were announced in the interim budget. This has come as a much needed shot in the arm for the beleaguered automobile market.
With automobile majors wasting no time in slashing prices, prospective buyers have found cuts from a minimum of `10,000 for entry level hatchbacks upto `3.5 lakh and more for luxury SUVs. As a result, the resultant cascade of enquiries has inundated dealership switchboards for the last two days.
The renewed interest seems to have heartened dealers in the city who pointed out that 2013 had been a very bad year for the industry. The period from Janurary-December 2013 saw automobiles sales fall by 9.6% — marking the first slump witnessed in a decade.
Now though, dealers say that they are confident that the price revision will result in a boost in sales, at least until June 30, when the budget is likely to be reviewed.
But by how much have prices gone down? Mohammad Niswan from Cars India told City Express that while Maruti Suzuki is yet to release exact figures, premium hatchbacks like the Swift are likely to be cheaper by about `17,000. “The prices are likely to be announced to dealers by Thursday. We think the price revision will be proportional to the excise duty cuts,” he said.
And carmakers like Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Mahindra and Mahindra, Toyota, Honda have all announced price revisions or are in the process of announcing exact figures. Statements from almost all major companies indicate that revised prices will be announced and will go into effect from Thursday.
But has all this renewed interest from automobile companies resulted in any increased bookings at dealerships? According to M Ganesh Kumar, Senior Sales Manager at Olympia Honda, customers are waiting for the exact figures before deciding on the purchase.
“Almost every customer is waiting to see what the exact price is going to be. While the reduction in prices for small cars don’t work out to much, customers going for medium and large cars are holding off on purchases until revised prices are fixed firmly,” he said.