Hit by a slowdown in sales and a poor outlook for the festive season, automakers, already offering big discounts, may further sweeten deals if inventories keep piling up. With high interest rates, a poor economic climate and decreasing demand for petrol cars keeping customers away from showrooms, top companies like Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Ford and Honda have come up with tempting offers — cash discounts, free accessories and insurance. Others like Volkswagen have cut prices straightaway. "This festive season will see lower levels of sales against previous years as negative sentiments continue to impact demand," said Sudhir Rao, MD of Skoda India. He said festive discounts will be "significant" as carmakers fight out for the limited customer pool in the market.Carmakers are making tempting offers - cash discounts and free insurance - to drive up sales. Maruti's models like Alto, WagonR, A-Star and Estilo (all petrol) offer discount and incentives totaling Rs 30,000-35,000. These include cash discounts and free accessories. And if you exchange car, you get an additional Rs 25,000 off. Times are so tough that even models like Hyundai i10 and Eon come bundled with offers to attract customers. i10compact promises a saving of Rs 44,000, which includes a gift cheque and loyalty bonus/exchange offer. Despite its entry-level status, Eon offers you Rs 24,250 offer that includes free insurance, exchange offer/loyalty bonus. On Santro, there is offer of Rs 40,000, including free insurance. "There is nothing very positive in the market at the moment, though we expect some revival in the festive season," said Jnaneswar Sen, senior VP (sales & marketing) at Honda Siel Cars. The company, that has only petrol models in its portfolio, is already offering sweet deals to customers. Its Brio compact has an incentive between Rs 15,000 and Rs 40,000 that includes free insurance and a cash discount while the City sedan has benefits of up to Rs 35,000. The desperation is such that some companies have already thrown in "festive" discounts, even before the start of the normally-bumper season. Ford's Endeavour, that is facing a massive competition from Mahindra's XUV500, comes in with a "festival accessory pack" that gives a Rs 50,000 benefit, including free insurance. The Figo compact model also carries an offer of Rs 25,000-28,000 which the company is giving as a celebratory offer following the sale of 2 lakh units of the model. "There is not much excitement at the moment," said Arvind Saxena, the new MD of Volkswagen in India. Companies, however, say that deepening the discounts further will be a challenge as they have already been doling out goodies for the last few months due to the weak market sentiments. "There has been no breathing space for us for the last 10 months as the times have been tough. We are already at the peak of discounts and going beyond this will be difficult," said Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer (sales & marketing) at Maruti Suzuki.