It’s raining discounts as carmakers offer deals to beat downturn blues

This could be the best time to buy a car, if you are looking for one! To beat the blues, carmakers are lining up new launches in order to create excitement and pull buyers to the showroom. Almost half a dozen new launches are slated to be available for sales next week ahead of the festive season. 
Carmakers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Renault, BMW, Tata Motors and Kia Motor will launch new products starting from August 20th, 2019. For the first time in many years, August month will witness so many launches in a single week said one of the industry experts. 
This comes in continuation of a large number of new models hitting the market which includes mass electric SUV Hyundai Kona, compact SUV Hyundai Venue, MG Hector, Nissan Kicks Renault Duster facelift and luxury cars like Mercedes Benz AMG C43 4Matic Coupe, BMW X7 and 7-series.
“Automobile industry is following the foot-steps of handset industry and Bollywood movies, where there is a race to launch new products ahead of the competition. To stay ahead of the carmakers who will launch their products at the peak festive season, few carmakers have slated launch in the month of August,” said Vinay Piparsania, Consulting Director, Counterpoint Research. 
He further added, “Car launches are planned a few weeks ahead of the festive period to get customer attention earlier on and pre-empt the typical festive offer noise that is expected at the time. It also allows for getting better media spots and coverage which are at a high premium or already blocked in advance by most retail products for their festive offers.”
So far, the current fiscal year have been most challenging for automakers where most of them have observed production cut to correct high inventory at the dealership. 
According to the latest figures reported by the apex body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicle domestic sales saw the steepest decline of 31 per cent at 200790 units. This the worst decline that passenger vehicle has faced ever since the downfall of December 2000, when it witnessed a decline of 35.2 per cent. 
Industry leaders Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motors India are bringing new variants of the existing popular models to increase the footfall in the showrooms. 
Seeing massive traction of customers towards utility vehicles, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki which is facing tough time will be launching MPV Ertiga “XL6” on 21st August. The XL6 will compete against the likes of Honda BR-V, Mahindra Marazzo, and Toyota Innova. 
While the South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor India will launch a new variant of its popular hatchback Grand i10. In the last few months, the carmaker has seen dwindling sales of Grand i10. To arrest the slowing sales, the carmaker has introduced Grand i10 Nios and started taking bookings. 
The new model comes with some major design overhaul inside out compared to the previous variant. The carmaker claims that the Grand i10 Nios offers more value, additional features and more space. 
Traditionally, it has been observed that new product launched excite buyers and hence inquiry increases which further leads to conversion and better sales. Moreover, when showroom footfall increases buyers tend to check other car models as well which result in a positive effect. 
Industry experts believe that new launches might create some level of excitement but going by the present market condition this festive season might be tough on OEMs. As the uneven monsoons and floods have impacted the rural income. 
“The new launches are expected to receive good response from the market, however it may not be able to bring a bounce back for the overall industry.” said Gaurav Vangaal, Sr. Analyst -Automotive Forecasting - Light Vehicles, IHS Markit. 
“The industry is struggling with multiple factors at same time and we may see further declines in coming months. The fear in mind of having dead stocks will be more prominent as we approach multiple regulations in coming quarters. Hence, things may move from Inventory correction to inventory clearance.” he added. 
In the last few months, there has been a slew of launches like Hyundai Motor India launched compact SUV Venue and electric SUV Kona. Similarly, SAIC owned Morris Garages launched its first product hector with connected car technology. 
The company claimed that it has received 28,000 bookings. However, how many bookings would translate into actual sales only retail data will reveal in the coming months. ETAuto independently could not assess the actual performance of all the cars. 
Apart from the market leader, Renault India will launch its compact MPV Triber on 28th August. The company has already started accepting bookings for Triber. Also, most recently Renault launched the new generation of its best selling SUV Duster in order to revive sales. 
The only silver lining in the cloud is the much-anticipated launch of Kia Seltos which is slated on 22nd August. On July 16, its first day of booking, the company claims to have received more than 6,000 bookings and so far has received 23,000 bookings of the compact SUV. 
Kia India has added features like the heads-up display, bose speaker system with mood lighting and air purifier which are a segment-first to set a new benchmark. 
Apart from Kia, Luxury car manufacturer BMW India will also launch its new generation of 3 series on 21st August. While Tata Motors will bring an all-new variant of Tata Harrier, dates yet to be announced. 

Photo Gallery