Friday , 22 March 2019

The benign push to local car and two-wheeler sales

Goan automobile dealers ready themselves for bountiful Chaturthi sales as festival buying moves into the fast lane, reports Shoma Patnaik

Close to Ganesh Chaturthi festival, local automobile dealers are in cheerful mood.  With customer sentiments taking a turn for the better and residents back to visiting showrooms, dealers are expecting good sales and propitious beginning to the next four months of the festival season.

“Chaturthi sales are going to be on track. It is already happening,” says Parind Nachinolkar, proprietor, Priority Auto. With multiple dealerships under his hat, of Skoda, Renault and Honda two-wheelers, Nachinolkar says that, after a period of modest growth, the local automobile market is cruising along steadily.

‘The demand situation is improved and it is reflected in my three dealerships witnessing strong bookings from August itself,’ he says, adding that, he clocked in 30 per cent increase in sales in August. And for the  Ganesh festival he has about 50 orders on hand for Renault and about 250 bookings for Honda two-wheelers.

“Most of the bookings are for delivery on September 12 as residents want to bring in the festival with a spanking new car at the doorstep,” points out Nachinolkar.

Goans love to change cars every three years and Ganesh festival for many is the best occasion to make the switch. Residents like to carry the deity home in a vehicle that is fresh from the showroom and therefore do the bookings in advance.

Sanjay Parmekar, general manager (sales), Sharayu Toyota, points out that,  Ganesh sales in 2018 is likely to better than the previous year for several Toyota models. “The maximum demand we are facing is for Innova and Liva.”

He says that, Innova as an all-time popular car always witnesses a spurt in purchases during festivals but what is heartening is the robust response for hatch-back Liva from the salaried class. “We have 50 orders on hand for Innova and 30 orders for Liva for the festival,” discloses Parmekar.

Hyundai cars kicked off 2018 on a strong note and Sachin Honavar, general manger sales, Alcon Hyundai, Porvorim, is optimistic of generous Ganesh business in the current season. “We are doing well and expect about 20 per cent rise in revenue from the festival,” he says.

To jack up the festival buying enthusiasm virtually all dealers are offering slew of discounts and freebies to customer. Gold coins up to 10 gram are one of the lures while some dealers are offering special prize for popular models. The doors are open for test drives and for government employees and pensioners for whom there are lucrative offers from several dealers. The most popular incentive in the market is cash benefits. It ranges between Rs 45,000 to Rs 80,000 depending on the model.

Goa’s automobile industry is mainly of dealerships. There are no car or two-wheeler manufacturing facilities in the state but plenty of dealers with each automobile brand represented by at least two dealers.

The two-wheelers segment is also well-developed with virtually all two-wheeler brands having a dealer presence in the state. Two-wheeler dealers point out that, 2018 started off on a sluggish note with slow sales for most of the first half of the year.

“The months of June and July were very bad for two-wheeler sales with some of us not even covering 50 per cent of the target,” says Pradeep Naik, owner Ashvek Motors, Margao. He adds that, demand for scooters and bikes revived in August and looks to be even better in September. “For the Ganesh festival we are hopeful of the two-wheeler market reviving for the coming months,” says Naik.

According to Ashok Sapra, proprietor, Pratik Motors, Mapusa, the demand for two-wheelers is invariably hit by some of the other issue every year. This year it is the issue of third party insurance that is affecting the sentiments. Most two-wheeler owners are going to find paying insurance for five years a pinch,” he says.

But Sapra, is altogether optimistic of Lord Ganesha improving things. “Residents are arriving at our showroom to do bookings and we are heading for better times. Our fingers crossed for buoyant sales,” he says.

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