With inflation coming down gradually and almost hitting a three-year low coupled with scope for further rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India, consumers sure can definitely feel the soothing touch as they gradually return to shopping spree. And that’s exactly what most companies are hoping for…

A comprehensive TNN news report has done an elaborate analysis of the prevailing market conditions and how industry was trying to cope with the rather unusually long dull phase marked by negative developments – political, economic and otherwise. A top consumer durables company executive mentioned that the industry was probably facing one of its worst periods as most consumer goods companies, be it in durables or auto, had planned extra capacities banking on the bullishness expected.

Earlier when they experienced a similar situation, they had managed to tide over it comfortably, industry insiders revealed, referring to the slowdown of 2008-09. However, this time around it seems a touch different, forcing them to launch discounts and schemes so as to clear inventory and drive revenues, which are mostly flat or negative, except for cell phones.

To cash in on the ongoing IPL cricket season, Sony had launched a special EMI scheme on Bravia flat panel televisions, wherein consumers could purchase Bravia with a down-payment of Rs 2,999 and 9 EMIs per month, with zero processing fees. Others are also making competitive offers, the detailed story by Namrata Singh and Shubham Mukherjee points out.

In automobiles, where EMIs are popular, Volkswagen launched a unique scheme which offers a new Vento in a tradeoff for an old car. All the consumer pays is Re 1 and nothing at all for one year. Select Skoda dealers were offering a Fabia hatchback free on the purchase of a Rapid sedan, albeit the customer would get the Fabia after five years. BMW is offering up to 100 percent finance on ex-showroom and consumers have the option to pay 50% of the loan in three years on the BMW 5 Series and the 3 Series. Besides, there is no service and maintenance cost for three years or 60,000 km, whereas Mercedes has introduced flexible finance options which include complimentary maintenance, the news report informs.

Mahindra & Mahindra, on the other hand, is offering benefits of up to Rs 70,000 on Xylo. “When competition heats up, we usually see more competitiveness in pricing… discounts are a regional phenomenon and it depends on the inventories or the demand in a given market,”  the TNN report quotes M&M chief executive (automotive division), Pravin Shah.

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