The car industry sees signs of recovery

CHENNAI: Is there a small green bud of better customer feeling in Motown? The beginning of Navratri on the last weekend of September it seems to be showing some signs of a collect although marketing specialists remain cautious to see if consultations and footsteps will remain until Diwali.

Already the luxury car market is showing improved inquiries from the Navratri weekend onwards and mass market car brands are deepening discounts and benefits to generate some buzz.

Rakesh Srivastava, MD, Nissan Motor India, says: “In the overall challenging scenario, the holiday season has brought positive customer sentiment with increasing inquiries. Our channel partners are attracting customers with high-value holiday deals.

While the mass market is in sales mode, luxury is already showing some recovery. Martin Schwenk, MD, CEO Mercedes Benz India said: “We saw 25% more inquiries in September compared to the previous month, so we are pretty sure there is a change in the trend. We also saw a slight monthly improvement in August. We are not at the 2018 level yet and the next 8 weeks will show the indications, ”he said.

The Navratri sentiment is critical because Ganesh Chaturthi was lukewarm this year. Said N Raja, deputy MD, Toyota Kirloskar Motor: “The festive season started with Onam and despite the floods in north Kerala we have done better than last year which was a wash out. Ganesh Chaturthi was dull like last year. Last Diwali and Dusshera were not great so we will see low base effect and year-on-year drop will be smaller. ”

What has helped, automotive vendors say, is that the confusion about whether there will be a reduction in GST is now resolved. In addition, the liquidity of NBFC has improved.

Vinod Aggarwal, CEO, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles, says: “September sales did not see the Navratra effect as till last weekend it was the inauspicious shradh period. The liquidity situation has improved with NBFCs and the GST-related confusion is also gone so festival demand could collect .”