Cars to become dearer as input costs rise

Car prices in India will become dearer, with Maruti Suzuki India, the country's largest auto-maker, planning to hike prices soon. International auto majors General Motors India and Hyundai Motors India have also decided to raise prices.

Auto-makers blame the rising costs of raw materials and currency fluctuations for their decision to go in for a price hike. Mayank Pareek, head of marketing and sales at Maruti Suzuki, said the company has been absorbing these increases all these months by enhancing efficiencies. ''But now we have to pass them on to consumers,'' he said today.

According to Pareek, natural rubber prices have doubled in recent months, while copper prices have soared by nearly 15 per cent. The sharp appreciation in the value of the Japanese yen against the US dollar has also forced the Japanese auto major to go in for a revision of prices.

Unlike General Motors and Hyundai – who have decided to raise prices of their vehicles by up to 2.5 per cent next month – Maruti Suzuki has so far not decided on the quantum of the hike, or the date when the new prices would become effective.

Last week, Maruti Suzuki announced sales of 112,554 vehicles in November 2010 (including over 10,000 vehicles that were exported). This was against 87,807 vehicles sold in November 2009. November was the second consecutive month in a row that Maruti's sales had crossed the 100,000-mark in the domestic market.

Marti Suzuki has a range of 14 brands and over 50 variants. The November 2010 figures indicate a 32.2 per cent rise in sales in the A2 segment, a 27.2 per cent jump in the A3 segment and a massive, 76.5 per cent expansion in sales in the C segment.

Other car manufacturers also reported brisk sales in November 2010. Hyundai saw a 12 per cent rise in sales, Mahindra & Mahindra reported an 18 per cent rise in sales and GM witnessed a 17.67 per cent growth in sales in November.