Cars to cost more as falling rupee ups auto firms' import costs

Auto firms, hit hard by rising cost of imports due the falling value of the Indian rupee, are expected to announce fresh hikes in vehicle prices in the New Year beginning January 2012.

Almost all auto firms in the country, including car market leader Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Kirloskar Motors and General Motors, are planning to raise prices in the New Year.

While the auto firms have not finalised the proposed price hikes, they are expected to announce price hikes ranging from Rs5,000 to Rs50,000 in order to offset the rising cost of imports of components and spare parts.

Maruti Suzuki has already announced price hikes ranging from Rs2,000 to Rs10,000 with effect from January 2012.

Toyota Kirloskar Motors also said it planned to increase prices by 1.5 to 3 per cent across its entire range of vehicles beginning January 2012, in order to offset the rising import cost of components. This effectively translates to car prices going up by Rs5,000 to Rs50,000 beginning January 2012.

"For the last three months, we have been absorbing the pressure of currency fluctuations. Now we have decided to pass on some burden to customers. We will raise prices by 1.5-3 per cent from January 1." deputy managing director (marketing) of Toyota Kirloskar Honda Siel said.