Tata Motors woos buyers with 100% cashback offers

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Mumbai: Tata Motors Ltd seems to be borrowing a trick or two from e-commerce, consumer durable and credit card firms by dangling 100% cashback offers to draw in buyers.

On Friday morning, readers of national daily The Times of India woke up to a rather eye-popping advertisement by the company.

It read, “Cashback bonanza!” You almost had to re-read the advertisement to ensure that the cashback offer was indeed on cars and not on refrigerators or television sets.

But that’s exactly what it was. “Buy a Tata car and get upto 100% cash back.”

Is the offer for real, you ask? We did too. So we called a showroom to understand how it works. Essentially it boils down to the scratch card trick.

To be sure, there are initial discounts being offered on most models. You get up toRs.39,000 off on the Safari Storm, Rs.37,000 off on the GenX Nano, Rs.47,000 on the Zest sedan and Rs.77,000 off on the Bolt.

Along with the discounts, the buyer stands to win a cashback offer.

Once the booking and billing is done, the buyer gets a scratch card. The card has multiple options ranging from a cash discount of Rs.2, 000-20,000 and cashback offers of 50% and 100% on the ex-showroom (excluding registration and other charges) price of the model.

The offer is valid till 15 November.

If nothing else, the marketing gimmick by the company is likely to draw potential buyers into the otherwise quiet showrooms of Tata Motors. Whether it will actually translate into sales is a question best answered when the din and bustle surrounding the festive season ends.

Similar gimmicks that the company has resorted to in the past have not done much good.

Taking the lead of consumer electronics firms, in 2013, Tata Motors introduced a scheme for the Nano for credit cardholders of five banks including HSBC Holdings Plc. and ICICI Bank Ltd. It allowed such cardholders to swipe their card to buy the car and pay the remaining amount over three, six, nine or 12 months. While the offer created lot of buzz, it didn’t really provide a boost to Nano sales.

Tata Motors’ cashback offers on its models come amid efforts by the company to get Tata cars back on the radar of potential car buyers.

The company’s passenger vehicles sales increased 6.5% to 62,614 units in the first five months of the current fiscal, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Still, the steep consumer benefits it is offering on relatively new models like the Zest and Bolt, which were touted as comeback models for the firm, reflects that the company still has a long way to go to revive its standing in the market.

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