Since the slump in car sales hit the Goa market after the global economic slowdown, sales have failed to pick up even during the otherwise peak season of Gudi Padwa, especially where the big car segment is concerned.
Avdhoot Zarapkar, general manager of the Hyundai showroom at Verna, said, “The sales are down by 20-25% since last March. The on-going recession is definitely the pre-dominant factor.” Car retailers say that the sales are not only down as against the last Gudi Padwa season, but have dropped further since the slump first affected the sales in November 2008.
Pre-Gudi Padwa season usually sees a rise in car bookings with buyers asking for vehicles to be delivered on the Hindu new year day, which is considered auspicious for new purchases. Due to the slump, car retailers had seen a decline in sales during Diwali and Dussehra as well which are two other occasions considered auspicious and otherwise see a rise in bookings.
Santosh Karekar of Mahindra dealers in Goa, said, “Our vehicles are high end such as Scorpio, Mahindra, Bolero etc which cost between Rs 8 to 15 lakh and therefore, the sales are affected due to recession. There has been a drastic drop in sales.”
He said that even advertisements have failed to draw response from buyers. “There are not many for inquiries even. We get only one or two calls a day now.”
Hemant Sinha of Vistar Motors said, “The sales have gone down by another 15-20% since they began declining in October-November 2008. As against the Gudi Padwa in 2008, there has been a drop in 20-25%.”
Industry sources say that banks no more hard sell car loans as before which has led to reduced demand. As a result, it is the high end models that are the most affected, while economy cars such as the Maruti-Suzuki range came close to their sales levels of last Gudi Padwa.
“At first, customers were coming in but it was tough to get retail finance for them. But now the inflow of customers itself has come down. Customers are shying away from making big purchases such as cars due to the ongoing recession,” said one Panaji-based retailer.
Source: Times of India