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Corporate Aug 30, 2013

Thanks to a limping auto sector buy cars at Rs 15-60K discounts

By Sindhu Bhattacharya

New Delhi: If you walked into a Ford showroom looking for the diesel EcoSport, you would be disappointed. In a market where most popular cars are available not only off-the-shelf but at deep discounts, you may have to wait as much as 7-8 months to get delivery for it.

For the petrol version the wait could be anywhere between 5-6 months.

The other popular cars which have a waiting period, according to an analysis by Srinivasa Rao and Amyn Pirani of Deutsche Bank, are the Renault Duster diesel and Honda Amaze (petrol and diesel which have a waiting period of three to five months).

Reuters

The Ford EcoSport diesel has a waiting of 7-8 months. Reuters

The hugely popular Maruti Swift diesel can be bought instantly and what is more, you may even get a Rs 20,000 discount. Ditto for the petrol version of the largest selling premium hatchback in India. Times have clearly changed, as the Swift diesel had a three month waiting period in October last year, while the petrol variant was on a month's waitlist.

The Hyundai i10 comes with one of the highest discounts right now at Rs 60,000 (on-road price is about Rs 5 lakh). The discount is probably high because a new 'Grand i10' is scheduled to be launched on September 4.

Maruti's WagonR has a Rs 50,000 off, the Alto 800 (old Alto) has Rs 43,000 discount on its sticker price and Etios - petrol and diesel - comes for Rs 32,000 less. Dzire diesel has a Rs 15,000 discount.

Now that the Utility Vehicles market is also undergoing a slowdown, is it any wonder that popular SUVs are also available at a discount. The Toyota Innova, Mahindra Scorpio and SUV500 come for Rs 30,000, Rs 42,000 and Rs 15,000 discount each. Verna diesel and i20 diesel can be bought for Rs 30,000 less.

Only recently launched models, like the Honda Amaze and Ford Ecosport, are not selling on discounts.

And, it doesn't seem like there's any respite is in sight for car makers as far as discounts go. A story in Mint newspaper recently pointed out that in a departure from usual practice of timing new launches with the festival season, car makers have not planned many new model launches this year. Same time last year, more than a dozen new models were launched. They included the Mahindra Quanto (compact SUV), new Maruti 800, Renault Duster (compact SUV), Mahindra Verito Vibe (compact sedan), Chevrolet Sail (sedan) and new Hyundai Elantra (sedan).

"The launch pad this season mostly comprises so-called limited editions and refreshes-with the exception of the Hyundai Grand i10. The refreshes and limited editions include the Tata Safari Storme Explorer edition, special editions of Toyota Liva and Etios, Volkswagen Cross Polo, and Skoda Rapid Leisure," the story said.

So this festival season if you want to buy a car, you may actually be spoilt for choice in terms of discounts.

by Sindhu Bhattacharya

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