No big discounts on luxury cars this festival season

After months-long struggle due to Covid-19, the domestic luxury car market has started to see some recovery and hopes to do better during the festival season.

However, there won’t be much of offers or discounts this year and companies will limit themselves to attractive finance scheme or complimentary insurance so that there are enough foot-falls at their outlets.

For instance, market leader Mercedes-Benz India has rolled out the ‘Unlock with Mercedes-Benz’ campaign for the festival period starting September and has seen a good response.

“The unlock campaign has some attractive offers for the C-Class, E-Class and GLC with attractive finance schemes including low EMI, attractive ROI and complimentary insurance,” Martin Schwenk, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mercedes-Benz India, told BusinessLine.

He also cautioned that this year’s festival season will be a challenging task, but a ‘succesful one like last year’.

Audi bets on launches

Audi is also expecting a successful season on the back of some new launches. “We have launched some exciting products during the past months and to further add cheer to our prospective customers, we have also brought in the Audi Q2 to India,” Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, said.

He said the prime attraction for customers this festival season will be the A6, A8 L, Q8, RS7 Sportback and the RS Q8.

And, not only the brand new cars, Audi India also anticipates pre-owned car business to further pick up steam.

“In addition, for existing customers, we are making re-purchase and upgrades easier through special loyalty and exchange programmes. We have also tied up with banks to provide a low-cost EMI for customers who wish to buy a pre-owned car through our Audi Approved Plus dealerships. Most importantly, to thank our Doctors and Covid warriors, we continue to offer a special privilege offer on a new car purchase,” Dhillon added.

According to analysts, even though these premium car-makers are giving offers during the festival season, these are very minimal as compared to last year. Last year, the offers even reached a level of cash discount of up to ₹10 lakh on a car as shift towards BS-VI was happening and dealers wanted to clear all BS-IV inventories.

“Last year the discounts level was quite high on premium cars between September and November to clear BS-IV stock. But, this year even during this pandemic, the discounts are not much, as companies are profit driven this time and not volumes,” Puneet Gupta, Associate Director at IHS Markit, said. He said this year the industry is expected to be even less than 20,000 units, which means yearly decline of more than half of last year’s number.

Recent price hikes

And, the car-makers have recently announced price hikes from this month and November.

While Mercedes-Benz India had announced a price hike of two per cent on select models from this month, BMW Group India said it will increase the prices of its cars by up to three per cent from November 1 because of rising costs and depreciating currency.

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