Even though discounts have become inevitable in India’s slow-moving truck market, amid one of the worst sales slumps in recent times, truck manufacturers are now looking to mileage, features and service as their selling point. popular sale in a desperate attempt to boost sales.
Despite significant discounts, truck sales in India have been down for four months as carriers halt purchases due to the economic downturn.
On Monday, Mahindra Trucks & Buses, the three-year-old newcomer to the heavy-duty segment, claimed that its Blazo line of trucks has successfully established itself as the most fuel-efficient truck model in the heavy-duty segment.
He also claimed that he now has a price premium over market leaders Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. Mahindra is the latest in a series of other manufacturers that are using services, energy efficiency, and packages as their unique selling proposition.
“Over the past three years, our Blazo trucks have clearly established themselves as a leader in terms of mileage,” said Vinod Sahay, CEO of Mahindra Trucks & Buses. He added that depending on the tonnage, the Blazo is 5-13% more fuel efficient than a Tata Motors truck or Ashok Leyland truck.
He also said that the Blazo, which was previously cheaper than the two brands, now commands a price premium over them.
Responding to Mahindra’s claims, a spokesperson for Tata Motors said that with a market share of 52.5%, the Tata company is the market leader with a huge margin. In addition, he claimed that the company is still gaining market share.
He added that in addition to “the superior product line”, Tata Motors also offers a complete package, including annual maintenance contracts, insurance, instant alert for breakdown services and superior connectivity.
“As a result, we continue to dominate the market with our products and services,” added the spokesperson. A spokesperson for Ashok Leyland was not available for comment.
The claim for superiority comes at a time when sales of medium and heavy commercial trucks are declining due to the economic downturn. It fell 39.06% to 104,267 units in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, according to the Company of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
SP Singh, Principal Investigator at the Indian Transportation Research and Training Foundation (IFTRT), said: “Although Mahindra is capable of making high quality products, it still has a long way to go to have a successful product. massive and pan-Indian presence. “
Such claims cannot be made when selling such small volumes. Also, what matters to a carrier is the overall cost of ownership and not just energy efficiency or the initial cost of ownership, he said.
Mahindra’s heavy-duty truck sales fell to 3,427 units in the eight months of April to September of this year from 6,245 units in the same period a year earlier. Tata Motors, ahead of Mahindra and others in the hierarchy, saw sales drop to 53,970 units from 90,731 units in the same period a year ago.
Mahindra’s Sahay said he did not expect any pre-purchases before switching to BSVI due to weak economic fundamentals. With 30 to 40% of the fleet at idle, carriers are struggling to pay their equivalent monthly payments. So buying a new truck is the least of their priorities.