Car sales are down and manufacturers aren't too bullish about the impending festive season either, with even Maruti Suzuki's managing director predicting a slow festive season. Even so, the hopeful among car makers keep trying to boost sales with new offers and schemes.
One such step comes from French automaker Renault, who has rolled out a 9 day StepUp scheme on the Pulse, Scala and Duster. The scheme, which began on the 7th of September, will be in force until the 15th of September, at Renault dealerships across India, except in states such as Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
Under this scheme, car buyers booking a certain variant of the Renault Pulse/Scala/Duster stand to get upgraded to the next higher variant, free of cost. Also, car buyers booking the top end variant of the Pulse Diesel and certain variants of the Scala will get a chance to upgrade to the closest Duster variant (price-wise), without having to shell out the additional premium for the Duster.
With the StepUp scheme, Renault seems to have taken cue from airline upgrades, and stuff that usually earns plaudits from air travelers is being applied to car buyers. Sales of Renault cars have been muted for the past couple of months and this is true even of the hot selling Duster SUV.
The advent of the Ford EcoSport has put pressure on sales of the Duster and the StepUp offer could see more Dusters moving off Renault showrooms across the country. The Pulse and the Scala, both badge engineered versions of the Micra hatchback and the Sunny sedan respectively, are faring worse, with the combined sales of both cars averaging well under 1,000 units a month.
Due to the muted sales, Renault is clubbing a few regular discounts with the new StepUp scheme in order to make its cars more attractive to prospective buyers. Renault offers petrol and diesel variants of the Pulse, Scala and Duster. Most of Renault India's sales come from the diesel variants of these cars. Next year, Renault will expand its product portfolio by launching the Lodgy MPV. Also, an 800cc small car, code-named the A-Entry, is in the works.