Drive down any of the main roads in the city you are sure to come across the ubiquitous cars and motorcycles. The huge growth in the number of cars during the last few months is evident from their vying for space on the city roads with motorcycles and other vehicles. The growing number of luxury cars makes one wonder whether there is any economic recession at all in the automobile sector.
Car dealers are in an upbeat mood as the sales, that have shown a marginal decline during the last fiscal, have once again picked up. Most dealers have reported an impressive growth in the average sales. Easy finance options from nationalised banks like SBI and SBH and private players like HDFC, Axis and ICICI for buying cars has come as a boon to middle class buyers. Discounts and freebies by dealers are an added attraction for prospective buyers.
Madhava Premier, located on the National Highway at Birla junction, announces exciting offers on the occasion of Ugadi. Premier Road Star priced at Rs.5 lakhs is being offered for Rs.4.35 lakhs. Stereo, speakers, sun control film are also being offered free. Remote locking, seat covers and teflon coating is being given free of cost on purchase of the Sports Utility Vehicle - ‘RIO'. Central A.C will be provided free on purchase of SIGMA Tourist Van.
RIO is available in EX, DX and LX models. A big SUV is going to be launched soon in the price range of Rs.12 lakhs to Rs.13 lakhs.
Varun Maruti as a group grew by 23.21 per cent during April ‘08 Feb'09 and April'09 Feb'10 despite the economic recession. During this period Maruti's market share stood at 55.1 per cent which is an indication of its customer confidence and satisfaction.
At Vizag, the sales grew by 13.31 per cent over last fiscal year till date. The monthly average sales is 325 cars till date during this fiscal. The diesel and petrol variants share 30 per cent and 70 per cent of the total sales respectively. Alto with 30 per cent and Wagon R with 15 per cent take a major chunk of the total sales respectively.
A-Star and Zen Estilo, both equipped with technologically advanced K-Series engines, give better fuel efficiency and better engine performance with very low maintenance which is definitely value for money to customer. These cars contribute around 10 per cent of total volumes. The demand for Swift and Dzire diesel versions demand is phenomenal. As part of Ugadi celebrations, Varun Maruti offers up to Rs.55,000 savings on Maruti cars. Given below are few sales support departments where Varun Maruti maintains continuous relationship with customer right from pre-sales to post-sales.
Maruti True Value:
India's No.1 organised pre-owned car brand.
It is an initiative of Maruti to provide Quality, Reliability, Transparency and Convenience to the Indian used car customers
Under Maruti True Value, customers can buy, sell or exchange pre-owned Maruti cars up to 10 years / 1,00,000 kms, non-accidental and not more than 3 previous owners
Maruti Driving School
Varun Maruti Driving School provides practical training on new cars fitted with dual control for enhanced safety and air-conditioning for comfortable learning from professional and trained faculty. In this journey, Varun also won several prestigious awards and accolades.
5 times winner of Maruti No.1 Platinum Dealer in the last 7 years, Award for achieving Highest Customer satisfaction, Awarded the Best tax Payer twice in the last 5 years.
The TVS Star City came in 2005 and was a well thought out executive bike, especially on the styling front.
It's big, with handsome proportions and stands out amidst bigger engine motorcycles even. The front fairing gels well with the huge 16-litre tank, which flows into a smart tail unit. Sporty!
Engine & transmission
The TVS Star City engine displaces 109.7cc, the largest in this pack, and produces 9.2PS at 7500rpm and 8.1Nm at 5000rpm. This engine also utilises swirl induction for better efficiency as well as performance.
The spark plug produces higher energy sparks, similar to the one in Apache RTR, for better ignition and the engine runs a roller cam follower and coated piston to reduce friction. The Star City isn't far behind in terms of fuel efficiency and returned 82kmpl in the city and 87kmpl on the highway. Performance figures too are respectable at 9.4 seconds for the 0-60kmph dash and an impressive top speed of 94.7kmph.
This is easily the most refined engine of the lot and feels unstressed right to the top. It also boasts adequate bottom end for lazy puttering around town in top gear.
Ride & handling
All the bikes have been designed to cut through city traffic and do their job quite well. Around corners, the Yamaha and TVS inspire the most confidence owing to their fabulously communicative front ends, though the former runs out of power a bit too early.
While all the other bikes feel very utilitarian in terms of their upright seating position, the Star City has a sporty feel. The seat is soft and lower in comparison to others while the handlebar is shorter. The Star City also boasts the best ride. The suspension is set up on the soft side and is plush over all sorts of road surfaces. It also comes with a convenient flip mechanism to switch between two preset pre-load settings depending on single and pillion riding loads.
“Our Spark, ranked no. 1 by JD Power Survey for the last three consecutive years, is performing very well. Our monthly sales averages 70 cars. Our February sales this year have registered a 126 per cent growth compared to last February,” says Srinivas, Manager (sales) of Orange Automobiles.
The company is offering discounts up to Rs.60,000 on Aveo, Rs.15,000 on U-VA, Rs.34,000 on Spark, Rs.60,000 on Tavera and Rs.70,000 on Tavera.
The Lakshmi Group has scripted its success story through the hard work, determination and untiring efforts of its Chairman Rammohan Rao. Starting off with Hero Honda dealership in 1987, he forayed into the four-wheeler segment in 1998 when he became the first dealer of Hyundai Motors.
“Our overall sales averaging 150 cars (all models) a month is excellent to say the least. The major chunk is taken by “i 10” followed by Santro. Our “i 20” is doing very well though there is limited supply at present. It's the only model on which we do not offer any discounts and it has a long waiting period,” says David Raj, Deputy General Manager (sales) of Lakshmi Hyundai.
“The sales have started off on a dull note this month and we hope it would pick up again as the discount offer on Santro has been increased from Rs.2,000 to Rs.4,000 and from Rs.4,000 to Rs.6,000 on i 10,” he said.
“Our Indica range including the recent addition Vista is evoking very good response. Our January sales, with over 110 vehicles, was very impressive,” says S. Srinivas, Sales Manager of SRMT, authorised dealers of Tata Motors. “Our Indigo Manza is also doing very well in the premium segment,” he added.
B. Madhu Gopal