September and October are usually good months for auto sales in India. The auto Industry was hoping to have a good September this year as a far as trade is concerned. However, according to figures released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday, the sales have dropped by over a per cent against the figures clocked same time last year. People have not spent on vehicles as much as the industry was expecting. Even as auto sales yet to stabilize this festive season, SIAM has said October is the month to watch out for as festival demand is expected to give a boost to sales.
There were 18 auto launches slated for this festive season. The auto market is still witnessing pressure in realizing sales, even though showroom traffic has strengthened. Even with a slew of launches, the promotional activities of most brands are subdued.
exchange4media takes a look at the top brands that managed to create buzz this year.
MARUTI CIAZ: With Ranveer Singh promoting the brand, Maruti is betting big on the Ciaz to hijack customers from the new Honda City and Verna. The Ciaz went on sale last week after heavy promotional activities in September, ahead of its launch.
SUZUKI GIXXER: Suzuki officially launched the Gixxer motorcycle in September. The 155 cc motorcycle which will take on the TVS Apache, Honda CB Trigger, Hero Xtreme and Pulsar 150, is priced at INR 79,809 (on-road, New Delhi), and is being promoted by Salman Khan. The brand is going big on print advertisements this festive season.
HONDA 160 CC MOTORCYCLE: Honda Motorcycles India has confirmed the launch of an all-new 160 cc motorcycle early November. The launch of the motorcycle is expected to take place within four weeks. Further details on the two-wheeler are unknown. However, one thing is certain. With Honda going all out to promote the brand with Akshay Kumar, buyers can expect strong promotions in the coming weeks.
FIAT AVVENTURA: Pre-launch bookings for the Avventura started in September. The market introduction of the Punto-turned-crossover will only take place this month. Fiat is also keen to show the car to prospective customers, and displays at shopping malls are being planned before the launch.
HONDA MOBILIO RS: Though Honda launched the Mobilio back in July, deliveries of the sportier RS-spec grade began from mid-September. The RS grade adds extra visual flair to the MPV, and is available only with the diesel engine. However, the brand that was initially endorsed by comedian Kapil Sharma is now lacking the promotional gusto it came with in the first place.
VW POLO GT TSI, GT TDI AND CROSS POLO: Volkswagen, at the refreshed Polo’s launch, announced that the September. These cars were made available by the end of September. Select dealerships though already started deliveries of the updated car in the beginning of the month. The brand recently unveiled a TVC for the same, and has gone big on print and OOH promotions.
MERCEDES GLA: Mercedes-Benz India launched the GLA crossover on September 30. Based on the MFA platform, the GLA will rival the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. Dealers of the company already started accepting orders for the GLA since May this year. Although the brand isn’t going big on promotions, regular print ads are being rolled out this season too.
RENAULT DUSTER AWD: Renault India introduced the Renault Duster AWD (All-Wheel Drive) variant in September. Based on the top-end Duster 110 PS variant, the new variant adds the feature of 4WD using a Shift-on-the-fly mechanism, and along with it body graphics and a new steering wheel. The brand has done a lot of OOH and print promotional activities.
Looks like automakers need to buckle up to catch the buyers’ attention this festive season.