Dull sales push car dealers to offer heavy discounts

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 04:44 hrs

For those who have not dropped their plans to buy a car affected by the sluggish economy and spiralling fuel prices, now seems to be good time to acquire one. February being one of the worst months in about a decade for car sales, dealers are offering heavy discounts and innovative schemes, to clear inventory.

While some are offering loans at zero per cent interest, others are offering freebies like free insurance and accessories, some are also offering deferred equated monthly installments (EMI) schemes to push car sales.

One of the most eye-catching schemes is by Volkswagen, which is offering the Vento sedan in exchange for an old car for Re 1, and the EMI would start after a year. However, this is under the assumption that the old car is at least worth half the price of the new car (Vento starts from Rs 7.49 lakh onwards), otherwise the difference needs to be paid upfront.

A Gujarat-based dealer of Volkswagen who operates five outlets across the state, said that it had around 150 Ventos in stock, and aims to sell most of them thanks to the scheme. The dealership manages to sell around 250-300 Volkswagen cars per month, led mainly by the sales of the popular car model Polo.

Samir Mistry, owner of the state's Audi dealership, said that while the luxury car sales is not hit as much by the downturn, his dealership, nonetheless, saw very good response when it launched a four-day scheme of zero per cent interest on the A6 sedan. It managed to sell around 20-25 cars which starts upwards of Rs 38 lakh in just four days.

"Such schemes act as a catalyst for buyers who are considering buying a car. However, anyone who is buying a luxury car is not buying it for its discounts, but one can always prepone his decision when such schemes are on offer," Mistry explained.

A Toyota dealership in the city has come up with a scheme that if someone wants to buy a Toyota Liva hatchback which is of 2011 or 2012 make, the buyer could avail interest free loans of up tp Rs 4 lakh.

Ajit Mehta, owner of the dealership explained that this roughly works out to be around Rs 35,000 for a four year loan period, and that his dealership is managing to run the scheme by fore-going the dealer margin offered by the carmaker on the car.

The Mercedes dealership in the city too is offering stock clearance sale on its E Class sedans, as the new E Class is on its way, by offering a mix and match of zero per cent interest, insurance and maintenance schemes.

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