Speaking at an India Today Conclave 2019 panel discussion, Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava spoke about the company's plans to slash prices amid a slump in sales due to the economic slowdown. While Bhargava insisted that the prices of Maruti Suzuki cars are already reasonable, he also asked buyers to wait for a couple of days to see if the company is slashing prices further.
"It [slash in prices] is not something I can announce here... wait a couple of days and you'll have the answer," he said at the event in Mumbai.
In the discussion on how to put the Indian economy back on track, Bhargava was in conversation with Manipal Global Education Chairman Mohandas Pai, Mahindra and Mahindra MD Pawan Goenka, Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej, Niti Aayog Chairman Amitabh Kant, Piramal Group Chairman Ajay Piramal, Hiranandani Group co-founder and MD Niranjan Hiranandani. During the conversation Bhargava echoed Goenka's sentiment. Goenka had said that the M&M cars were already being offered at 20 per cent discounts to boost sales.
Niti Aayog CEO Kant also urged automakers to slash prices to increase demand and revive sales during the discussion. The auto sector has been one of the worst affected sectors in the ongoing slowdown. Maruti Suzuki posted a steep 36 per cent decline in sales in August. With 93,713 units, August was the second month in a row the company had dispatched less than 100,000 cars to dealerships.
RC Bhargava's comments came amid a slew of measures undertaken by the government to boost the economy. The latest GDP figures show that the growth hit a six-year low of 5 per cent. On Friday, Finance Minister announced reduction in corporate tax for domestic firms and new domestic manufacturing companies. The FM stated that current corporate tax of 30 per cent will be brought down to 22 per cent, while the existing rates for new manufacturing companies will be brought down from 25 per cent to 15 per cent.
Following the announcement, the who's who of India Inc including Uday Kotak, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Ajay Piramal welcomed the move and said that the measure will help bring in more investments.