Car makers offer discounts to improve sales

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New Delhi, Sep 30 (UNI) In a bid to boost its sagging sales due to hardening interest rates, country's auto companies are offering discounts on its vehicles.

Country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has started various discount schemes to offset the impact of high interest rates on its sales during the current fiscal.

It has introduced several new schemes to boost sales like 'Wheels of India' for state government employees, 'First Class Offer' for railway employees, 'Power Deal' for NTPC staff, 'Steel Wheel' for SAIL, scheme for teachers, panchayat scheme for rural consumers.

Alongwith, the company is running a 'Chakde' offer under which the customers can get an additional cash benefit of Rs 5,001 on Alto, WagonR and Zen Estilo.

Tata Motors is also planning to offer discounts on its vehicles, hoping to jump-start sales that have flagged amid rising interest rates.

Managing Director Ravi Kant did not specify what kind of discounts company was going to offer, but in comments to media in Mumbai, he said they are likely to extend across the company's range of vehicles.

''With the market slowing down, it's going to be a major burden,'' Mr Kant said.

The Reserve Bank of India has raised its key lending rate five times since the middle of last year to tame inflation.

Car sales were up 18 per cent in August year-on-year to 98,893, the biggest rise in six months, as customers responded to new discounts. The October-December festival season is expected to boost sales, as employers hand out bonuses and companies introduce more bargain offers.

General Motors first compact car Spark, launched in May, comes with a free insurance and cash saving packages of up to Rs 35,000.

GM is offering cash benefits and a lower rate of interest to pop up sales of its year-old sedan Chevrolet Aveo and premium hatchback Aveo UV-A.

Similarly, Fiat Motor India is giving gifts worth Rs 25,000 with its newly-launched hatchback Palio Stile.


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