Festive demand, new offers revive auto sales

NEW DELHI: Festive cheer is fuelling a comeback for the auto industry. As the economy struggles amid the coronavirus-driven slowdown, the car and two-wheeler industry appears to be witnessing some green shoots, partly led by the excitement around new models and also because of the festive discounts and offers, which are expected to get deeper in the coming weeks.
As the Navratri and Diwali festive period comes closer, most of the auto companies reported strong wholesale numbers as they stocked up their dealerships on expectations of healthy retail sales.
Demand has been challenging this year as slowdown and job losses in metro towns have kept buyers away.

But companies said there were some positive signs. Toyota was the only notable company to have witnessed a decline in year-on-year sales, even though others such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Honda Cars grew by double digits. On the two-wheeler side, Hero Moto, Honda and Royal Enfield reported growth.
Maruti, however, cautioned that the growth needs to be seen with the context that last September was a “low-base” period. Companies said any credible recovery will only be confirmed once the festive demand and trends are clearer. However, current numbers are being cheered.

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