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In the run up to the festival season leading automobile manufacturers have started to offer discounts on vehicles, mostly the older variants to push their retail sales.

According to the dealers in three metro cities, the discounts across models have increased by 5-10% compared to the festival period last year.

Dealers of Maruti Suzuki are offering Rs 30,000- Rs 35,000 cash discounts on mini or small car Alto, while the same for WagonR is around Rs 20,000-25000 depending on the variant. The discounts on another popular offering Swiftis is around Rs 15,000- Rs 25,000 across the variants.

Another popular offering Celerio is coming with cash discounts of around Rs 20,000 – Rs 22,000. The cash discounts are accompanied by free insurance, loyalty and exchange bonuses and government employee benefits which substantially reduce the price of the vehicles.

In Kolkata, where the buyers tend to throng the showrooms before Durga Puga, Maruti has launched a scheme called Magic Box. As a part of this customers will be able to win a LED television, DLSR camera, cooking appliance and other things.

“We are offering this Magic Box contest for the customers and compared to last year we have also increased the cash discounts by at least Rs 5,000. This year we are hoping the customers will be back after a little slowdown in retail sales after GST and inventory for vehicles like Alto and WagonR is quite high. So there will be no supply issues,” said a Maruti dealer in southern Kolkata.

Vehicle sales during festive season contribute around 30% of the total yearly volumes. According to industry experts, this year the festive season is extremely crucial since retail sales for most of the car makers have fallen after July though wholesale volumes have picked up.

Other car makers like Hyundai, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) and Honda have also launched attractive schemes to attract customers during the Navratri and Durga Puja period.
Hyundai dealerships across cities have have been offering discounts in the range of Rs 50,000- Rs 60,000 for Grand i10 – one of the highest selling products of the company – while the same for its small car Eon is also pretty high around Rs 55,000- Rs 60,000.

“The special discounts before Navratri are already in place and that is why you can see such high discounts on Grand i10 which is one of the best selling products in the market. Our inventory also is a little bit higher than last year so fast delivery is not going to be an issue,” said a dealer of Hyundai in the western suburbs of Mumbai.

Japanese car maker Honda – not known for offering discounts – has also been offering cash discounts of around `38,000 to `40,000 on cars like Jazz ( a hatchback) and Brio.
“The festive period this year comes at a very crucial time and we hope that volumes will come back strongly. The retail sales have been mixed during the post GST period and we have to offer increased discounts to get the customers back. Also the vehicles prices have increased so discounts have been increased,”said an executive of a leading automobile manufacturer.

Mumbai-based Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has also resorted to the same strategy and is offering Rs 20,000 cash discount for its compact SUV, TUV 300 and around Rs 31,000 to Rs 36,000 for KUV 100. The same for Bolero is around Rs 60,000 to Rs 65,000.

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