Maruti cars to cost more



Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), the country's largest car maker, has raised prices across its models by up to Rs 5,250 with immediate effect to counter the impact of adverse foreign exchange fluctuation and rising input costs, the company said on Wednesday.

"The average hike in the price across models is around one per cent and the range will be between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,250," said a company spokesperson. Maruti Suzuki sells a range of models starting with the small car M800 to the luxury sedan Kizashi, which are priced between Rs 2.04 lakh and Rs 17.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Maruti Suzuki joins the band of car makers such as Audi, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), Renault, General Motors (GM) India and Honda Cars India which have already raised prices recently..

Luxury car maker Audi has hiked the prices of its sports utility vehicle Q3 by up to two per cent, translating into an increase of Rs 50,000, from this month.

Renault has increased the price of the petrol variant of its popular sports utility vehicle Duster by Rs 30,000 and the diesel variant by Rs 40,000.

While Honda has said it will charge customers 0.2-2.6 per cent more on the City, Brio and Jazz, GM is yet to take a call on the quantum of the hike and the date of enforcing it. Utility vehicle manufacturer M&M also has plans of increasing prices in the range of 0.5-1.5 per cent across its entire portfolio.

The price hikes come despite a sluggish market environment. "There is a lot of pressure on our margins due to the foreign exchange (forex) fluctuation and rising input costs," Mayank Pareek, chief operating officer (marketing and sales) at Maruti Suzuki, had said earlier, justifying the increase.

The car maker had to dole out Rs 280 crore in the last financial year due to adverse forex flows and has since been making efforts to cut down on its exposure to foreign currency. The company is targeting to reduce its forex exposure by 65 per cent to $600 million (around Rs 3,130 crore on Wednesday) by March 2015 for which it is working with its vendors to reduce imports. Besides, the company is looking out for new markets to increase exports of its products to mitigate impact of unfavourable foreign exchange fluctuation.