Car buyers in India can heave a sigh of relief as the Indian Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has just announced that the excise duty cut, which was announced by the former government through an interim budget, will continue to be in force for an additional six months, up to the 31st of December, 2014. The excise duty cut saw most automakers in India cutting prices across their product ranges, in the hope that a price cut would spur sales.
Although sales didn’t really shoot up on the back of the price cuts, rumours stating that the new government was planning to do away with the excise duty cut by means of the 2014 Union Budget gave automakers the jitters. The Indian car industry has been through a tough couple of years and the weak monsoons this year are further expected to add to the woes of automakers here. Therefore, the extension of the excise duty cut will come as welcome news for the auto industry as a whole.
The Indian government led by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has been talking about creating new jobs by giving the manufacturing sector a boost through incentives. The car industry is a major component of the Indian manufacturing sector. This latest announcement, extending the excise duty cuts, could do its bit to keep sales steady during a tough economic climate.
While most automakers are expected to keep car prices steady in the run up to the festive season, expect chunky discounts on many outgoing car models as a slew of facelifts are around the corner. For instance, CarToq sources have revealed that Fiat India’s Ranjangaon factory has a large inventory of the pre-facelift Grande Punto hatchback. However, the Italian automaker will go ahead with the launch of the facelifted Punto. Therefore, expect large discounts on the outgoing Punto.