This festive season, fasten your seatbelts as the automotive industry gears up to launch a storm with 30 new debuts across segments and markets. From micro small cars and hatchbacks to sedans and SUVs, the next few months are likely to tip scales in favor of carmakers who have had a poor show this year, thanks to the mounting fuel prices, high interest rates and overall economic slowdown.
In a bid to revive the slowing market and accelerate car sales, carmakers have decided to set afloat a spate of new cars including Maruti 800, Volkswagen UP!, Tata Manza CS, Mahindra Mini Xylo, Ford EcoSport SUV, and Chevrolet Sail.
Vishnu Mathur, director general of top industry body Society of Indian Automobile Association (SIAM) exclaimed, "Festival period has historically changed the entire market mood from gloom to boom. With interest rates softening and some aggressive pricing on new products, customers who have been holding back their purchase decisions, may get back into the market and revive demand."
Reacting to the trend, Deepesh Rathore, India MD of multinational consultancy IHS Global Insight, said, "Festive period is the best time of the year to launch new cars when customers are willing to shell out extra money to prop their motoring desires."
The first car to roll its way into the showrooms will be Hyundai's new mid-size saloon, the New “fluidic” Elantra sedan that makes its debut today at an introductory price of about 10 lakh.
In the following weeks, behemoths like Toyota and Suzuki will roll out their much awaited Camry and a revamped new Maruti 800 respectively. Another notable car lined-up for debut is the Volkswagen UP!, the smallest car from Europe's largest carmaker.
Car sales are usually known to peak during the festive season and this year’s festive season being longer than usual, starting with Onam in August and lasting until Diwali in mid-November, auto companies are eyeing huge incremental sales
Abdul Majeed, partner, auto practice, at consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, said that the cash registers are already ringing with the onset of Janmashtami and upcoming Onam.