Carmakers in India have been facing a slowdown in sales and trying all they can to attract customers to their cars. In fact, it is the cars in the mid-level segment which are affected the most.
Offering stripped down low cost variants of their premium cars is a strategy seen being followed by car makers these days. Major carmakers including Skoda Auto, Honda Siel and Tata Motors are all part of this plan.
While the cars are retained with the same specifications, what gets stripped are those extra bells and whistles. By doing this, the buyer still gets the look and feel of the car, but at a competitive price tag.
By this move, these carmakers expect to boost sales and be price-competitive amidst soft demand conditions. Skoda had recently launched a stripped down version of the Superb premium sedan. The Superb Ambition model is available at Rs 18.5 lakh, Rs 1.6 lakh lower than the Superb Elegance variant. (Read: Skoda Launches Low Priced Superb Ambition @ 18.55L)
Skoda India head of marketing Kamal Basu said: "The variant, while retaining the Superb's values in comfort, safety and efficacy, opens the doors of opulence for the customer seeking excellence at a great price."
Similarly, Honda had launched a Corporate edition of the City mid-level sedan and Tata Motors introduced the 4X2 version of its Aria crossover. While the City comes cheaper by Rs 60,000, the 4x2 Aria is lesser priced by around Rs 80,000.
Honda India marketing senior VP J Sen said: "We felt there was an opportunity to reach a wider audience at a lower price and thereby garner incremental numbers. The City still is an aspirational model and at this price point it gives an opportunity for more customers to own the City who otherwise would never be able to own one."