Business Today

Election Bonanza

"In election years, sales always increase substantially, so we are hopeful about next year."
Sumant Banerji   New Delhi     Print Edition: April 7, 2019
Election Bonanza

With polls in the air, sales of consumer items such as cars, two-wheelers, air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, and television sets are set to spike as politicians typically try to woo voters by doling out handouts and sops that lead to more cash in hand for consumers.

India's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki is expecting healthy growth in the next fiscal (2019-20) spurred by the elections in the first half after a rather prolonged slump in sales in the current financial year.

"We analysed past numbers and concluded that sales fell in the last two pre-election years," said Chairman MSIL, R.C. Bharagava. "In election years, sales always increase substantially, so we are hopeful about next year."

Passenger vehicle sales have declined in seven of the last eight months, and the industry is hoping for just 3 per cent growth this fiscal, AS against an initial target of 8-10 per cent growth. The spike, should it arrive, would be on the back of two years of lull for consumer durables companies that suffered after demonetisation in end-2016 and the run-up to the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax in mid-2018.

To exploit any improvement in consumer buying sentiment, companies such as Sony, Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, Vivo, Nestle and Britannia have also planned a flurry of launches in the summer. While the results of the elections are uncertain, India Inc is hoping it will have plenty to cheer about.

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