Cars, Uncut

The days of car discounts are over

Published: Sep 9, 2010


Illustration: Hemal Sheth

Auto industrywallas are chortling as they drive to the bank. If car sales are anything to go by, the recession is over; last month 43,680 more hatchbacks and sedans were sold around the country, taking the annual total to 158,764.

That’s not all. During the downturn, to entice reluctant buyers, they often had to offer discounts or freebies. Small car makers were the most susceptible: Discounts started at Rs. 25,000. More premium brands usually stayed away from cash discounts to avoid cheapening the brand’s image; instead, they’d offer sweeteners like free insurance or cheaper financing.

This year though, you wouldn’t get more than Rs. 10,000 knocked off the list price. And the freebies for the big ticket vehicles? As one Delhi-based dealer said, “When you have a wait list, why should we continue with offers?”

(Compiled by Samar Srivastava)

(This story appears in the 10 September, 2010 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • kanakasabhai

    While it is understandable that no discounts are on offer due to demand, why don't the manufacturers use this to improve quality. Tatas and M&M can grow from rickety vehicles to good ones while Maruti for a change can make the interiors look different from black.

    on Sep 9, 2010
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