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Festive demand clears automobile stocks
Published on 22 Oct. 2009 12:07 AM IST
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The Diwali period has been very good in sales for car and bike dealers. Many authorised dealerships, including those of Maruti Suzuki, Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto and Hyundai Motors, reported speedy exhaustion of stock, despite all companies keeping inventory as high as possible. Although most companies had geared for increased production at their plants, most say the surge in demand was unexpected, partly driven by yesteryear purchases which had been postponed earlier due to lack of funds. Arvind Saxena, senior V-P (sales and marketing), Hyundai Motor India, said: “Diwali this year has been exceptional in comparison to last year. We are still compiling all-India figures but initial indications suggest we have done 60 per cent better. Usually, sales rise by 40 per cent every year during the period.” Leader Maruti Suzuki (car market share of 52 per cent as on September) has reported sales of 12,000 units during the three days from Dhanteras (considered the most auspicious day to buy new products by Hindus) to Diwali. The company says this would be its best-ever performance during the festival of lights. R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki, said: “Although we would prefer to compare our sales performance with that of 2007-08, more than last year when the industry was hit by the slowdown, it (sales) was still much better than that (2007-08) year.” Pune-based Bajaj Auto, too, reported a ‘stock-out’ (complete emptying of stock) for most of its Pulsar models, as well as the Discover. Said Milind Bade, general manager, marketing: “The response we received was phenomenal, as we were out of stock for some models very swiftly. We are ramping up production but still what we are producing right now is sold (to dealers) as quickly and this has been going on for the past 40 days. The demand has been well beyond our expectations.”

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