CHENNAI: Now may be a good time to buy that car you’ve had your eyes on.
After nearly four years of long waiting periods and negligible add-on benefits, it’s raining discounts in the auto industry. According to Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) sources, current discounts range from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 on a hatchback like the (old) Swift to Rs 50,000 plus (including cash discount, corporate loyalty and exchange programmes) on the Honda City.
Additional data from FADA shows that some of the higher offers are available on hatchbacks and sedans, with the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 fetching up to Rs 42,000 (maximum on manual petrol variant) in discounts. Benefits on the Maruti Suzuki WagonR fall between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000, and in the range of Rs 18,000 to Rs 35,000 on the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios. On the sedan front, the Hyundai Aura comes with Rs 23,000 to Rs 40,000 in benefits – the highest on CNG – while the Honda Amaze fetches over Rs 40,000 (including exchange offers and corporate discounts).

Even high priced EVs and SUVs are fetching discounts, with the Hyundai Alcazar getting Rs 45,000 to Rs 65,000 off, the Mahindra XUV400 EV getting upto Rs 1.5 lakh in benefits and the Honda City eHEV getting Rs 65,000.
Dealers state a key reason to be the growing inventory at their end. Manish Raj Singhania, FADA president, said, “June and July are laggard months, so naturally discounts are high… but also because inventory levels are at 55-60 days and on the increase for the past three months. Some makes and models are still on the waitlist like the Mahindra Thar. Others like Maruti Suzuki’s new Swift and Ertiga don’t have any discounts at all. But generally, discounts on hatchbacks and sedans are steep.”

Auto industry experts said that in terms of discounts as a percentage of the retail price, smaller cars are at the top of the heap. According to JATO Dynamics, Alto, Bolero Neo, S-Presso, Celerio and Ignis have the highest discount-to-price percentile. Ravi Bhatia, president of JATO Dynamics, said, “The data for the top 10 models with the highest percentage discounts for June 2024 shows that discounts have increased in response to inventory build-up in anticipation of the festival period. Car prices had significantly increased in the past, which has adversely impacted demand growth even though SUV sales are holding up.”
Dealers say that production ramp-up by some of the top-selling car companies means there has been more wholesale billing than retail in the last three months.