After two subdued years, the four-wheeler industry is looking forward to a buoyant festive season this time. Despite the import duty hike and floods in many parts of the country, the sentiment is upbeat this festive season.
âWith two subdued festive seasons due to demonetisation and GST, this year we are quite positive about the consumer buying sentiment. The last few months have been tough for the automobile industry with import hikes and the devastating floods in Kerala. But we strongly believe that with the upcoming festivities, we will witness increased footfall at our dealerships and spike in sales in the market,â said Bishwajeet Samal, Head of Marketing, Volkswagen.
The festive season accounts for about 20% of the sales in the four-wheeler category. The brands typically spend about 25-30% of their marketing funds in these four-five months.
âThe festive season is a windfall that the category typically waits for. In India, people have this tendency to buy new metal and jewellery around festivals. People also buy durables around the harvest season because it typically means money coming in to the household. All these factors contribute to make the festive season a very lucrative season for the entire durables segment in general and the four-wheeler and the automotive category in particular,â said Vidhu Sagar, National Director, Lintas Mediahub, MullenLowe Lintas Group.
âTypically, marketers in the four-wheeler segment expect about 20-30% of their annual sales in the festive season. They also spend about 25-35% of their marketing budget in the festive season,â added Sagar.
For Hyundai, this festive season is more important because the company completed 20 years in the country.
â2018 is an important year for Hyundai as we complete 20 years of sales and production in the country. The festive season will mark the launch of our family car codenamed AH2 and hence it becomes extremely significant for us this time,â said Puneet Anand, Senior General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motor India.
With new launches planned around the festive season, Anand agreed that the marketing spends will also go up with special focus on digital.
âWe have a focused approach towards marketing with a huge momentum towards digital marketing. To strengthen our commitment towards the Indian market, Hyundai will launch eight new products between 2018 and 2020, including an electric SUV. We feel the marketing spends and sales go hand-in-hand. With new launches in the pipeline, we expect a hike in our marketing budget as well," said Anand.
Samal too agrees that the festive season is important for the brand as their festive season special offering Volksfest is expected to bring more customers.
âFestivals are about togetherness, cheer and sharing valuable moments with family and friends. Itâs also a period of celebration and indulgence by customers. The festive months are absolutely important for the brand as it sees increased sales performance during the season due to the special benefits offered under Volkswagenâs annual festive bonanza â Volksfest,â said Samal.
âThere is an upsurge in the marketing budget during the festive season as the brand allocates its media spends to promote its annual programme â Volksfest. This year has been extra special with an interesting association with Disney India, celebrating Mickeyâs birthday under the âHappy Days Are Here Againâ campaign,â added Samal.