Car sales have failed to add to the zeal and enthusiasm of this Dhanteras as the implementation of GST has made people doubtful of sudden price hikes in the industry. While consumer durables and electronic products witnessed a healthy growth in business ahead of Dhanteras, car sellers were way behind in this competitive market.
Though top companies such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai saw the 'Dhanteras rush', it was still way below when compared to the same day last year, reported leading daily 'Times of India' on Wednesday.
"Numbers have been similar at last year's level," a spokesperson for Maruti Suzuki was quoted saying while interacting with TOI.
"The company sold (retail sales) around 30,000 cars on Dhanteras in 2016. Toyota also said sales on Dhanteras have been more or less like last year, and things could be "difficult" for the industry in November," he added.
"The next month can be lower. The sentiment is yet to get positive," stated N Raja, sales and marketing director at Toyota Kirloskar Motors.
"We are down by 25-30% this festive period," said a leading dealer of Mercedes-Benz in the Delhi-NCR region.
"A large part of buying already happened around August and September. The customer is not in any urgent need to purchase now."
Talking about the intense situation of the market, a top BMW dealer in Mumbai said, "There is momentum, but definitely a lot of purchases have been pulled forward due to GST. It may not be as good as last year... the festivities of last year is missing, and it is quieter this time around."
"With implementation of GST, we did notice a slight dip in sales initially, but it has regained normalcy. The only difference that we have noticed this festive season is that people are spending cautiously. They haven't tightened their purse strings but they aren't spending it mindlessly as is the case during Dhanteras and Diwali."
Rahul Gupta, MD of PP Jewellers and Diamonds, also expressed his views regarding the same. "Business may be down by 15-20%. Disposable income levels are not very comfortable and some of the measures such as demonetisation impacted business. However, the government's move to increase cash transaction limit from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh has been a welcome measure."
"We launched new products and attractive gift offers. Financing schemes have been easy and have aided purchases of Bravia range of televisions," 'Times of India' quoted Satish Padmanabhan, sales head at Sony India.
Durables showrooms are open till midnight and Padmanabhan said showrooms have hired extra staff to deliver products and install them. Samsung India, the country's biggest consumer durables company, said sales were up 30% over previous Dhanteras.
"Business recorded its best-ever sales in the premium segment," a company spokesperson was quoted while talking about the same.