Discount Season for Cars

When sales slow, discounts rise

After studying law I vectored towards journalism by accident and it's the only job I've done since. It's a job that has taken me on a private jet to Jaisalmer - where I wrote India's first feature on fractional ownership of business jets - to the badlands of west UP where India's sugar economy is inextricably now tied to politics. I'm a big fan of new business models and crafty entrepreneurs. Fortunately for me, there are plenty of those in Asia at the moment.

For the past five years, giving discounts has become a regular exercise in the Indian car industry. 

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Manufacturers, dealers and financing firms all offer their own sets of discounts to lure buyers. The amount of discount is inversely proportional to usual sales figures: So, when sales slow, discounts rise and when sales rise, discounts fall. This, of course, differs from one car model to another, and weaker ones often see more discounts.

Festive seasons are times to watch out for as companies hope to sell more pieces. This September, car sales slumped to 165,925 (compared to 168,959 in September 2010). This year, discounts are expected to be the highest since 2008. So, it might just be the right time to get those wheels that you have been eyeing.

Note: Some popular models, such as the Swift, are almost never discounted. Dealers sometimes offer additional discounts, but they are usually in December.

(This story appears in the 04 November, 2011 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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