Electric two-wheeler segment leader, Ather Energy has recently announced buyback schemes to counter a likely dip in industry volume after the festive season that will end in a few months.
The makers of electric two-wheelers are finding innovative ways to keep sales momentum after the festive season, and even adopting sales practices from traditional gasoline-run vehicle makers, to convince users to switch to electric vehicles – think exchange deals, short-term rental programs, and 48-month loans to break up monthly repayments into smaller amounts.
Bengaluru-based two-wheeler maker Ather Energy has announced an exchange program that will enable owners of petrol two-wheelers to trade in their scooters for an Ather, where the exchange value can be deducted from the down payment for the new electric scooter, therefore lowering upfront costs. Buyers also get ₹4,000 as an exchange bonus.
To be sure, this is a well-known practice in the internal combustion-engine universe, but one that buyers of EVs aren’t usually able to avail of institutionally.
Ather has announced the scheme, along with long-tenure financing options with low-down payments and free access to its fast-charging network Ather Grid until December 2023. There is a good reason behind the timing of these incentives.
“The rationale behind this timing is that after any festive month there is traditionally a dip in the automotive cycle. We’ve put up a new factory and increased production, at this point we are also expanding experience centres — every month we are opening 10-12 experience centres. There is an operational side to converting underlying demand. We are making sure we are pushing the system to capacity on the manufacturing side, and now we are applying the same philosophy to the business side too – as we are opening more outlets, we are ensuring that industry numbers slowing down don’t slow down our momentum. Come January, we will likely yank the schemes off. The offers are conceptualized as a response to the industry dip”, Ravneet Phokela, chief business officer, Ather Energy commented.
The brand hasn’t changed the pricing of the Ather 450X as the scooter is positioned as a premium product, and discounts usually come with a negative connotation for products in this category, he noted.