At least one new car will be launched in India each week until December

Coming soon.
Coming soon.
Image: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
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India’s biggest annual festival season is on the horizon. And carmakers are doubling down on their offerings.

The next four months will see 26 new launches by the industry, cashing in on the biggest sales period of the year. During the same period in 2017, the number stood at just 17, data from car price comparison website CarWale show.

The launches this year are spread across price ranges.

For instance, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki will in November launch the face-lift version of Wagon R, one of the country’s most popular affordable hatchbacks. It will be priced between Rs400,000 ($5,663) and Rs600,000. In August, the company has already launched the upgraded Ciaz.

For luxury car connoisseurs, German automaker Porsche will launch the Cayenne in September, priced at around Rs2.35 crore.

Here are some of the launches planned over the next three months:

Shopping time

India’s biggest festival season usually begins in August or early September and stretches to the end of the year. The period is marked by a number of celebrations such as Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, Diwali, and Navratri.

Most of these occasions are considered auspicious to buy new items, be it homes, jewellery, or vehicles.

This is also the time when most Indian companies, private and government, pay out the annual bonuses, leaving employees awash with cash to splurge.

Thus, this is also one of the biggest trading seasons for businesses. From clotheslines to electronics, companies across sectors woo customers with discounts and add-ons and launch new product lines.

“About 30% of the total car sales in India happens during the festive season. And so you see so many launches happening between September to November,” said Punit Gupta, associate director with global information provider IHS Markit.

Most companies also use the opportunity to clear out old inventories, further boosting sales, said Gupta.

Car sales have been buoyant at 11.8% year-on-year in August, according to data released by industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Domestic passenger vehicle sales grew 13.32% year-on-year compared to 7.29% in 2017 for the same period last year.