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Day after Maruti and Hyundai, GM India too reduces prices

The company has reduced prices across categories in the range starting from Rs 12,000 to Rs 49,000, General Motors India Vice-President P Balendran said on Thursday. Following the announcement of excise duty cut for cars by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the interim budget on Monday, the carmaker had said that it would pass on the duty relief to its consumers.

Other auto makers, including market leader Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India, and Honda Cars India, have also reduced prices across product categories.

The excise duty has been cut to 8 per cent from 12 per cent for small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles; 24 per cent from 30 per cent for SUVs; 20 per cent for mid-sized cars from 24 per cent and 24 per cent for large cars from 27 per cent.

Balendran, however, said that the duty cut would marginally improve sales for auto makers and the industry is expected to turnaround only when a new government assumes office post the general election.

‘This is only a short-term measure. The excise duty cut is going to be applicable till 20 June. Even today the market sentiments are bad. The volume numbers are down even in this segment,’ he said, adding that there has been a growth in the compact SUV segment of about 34 per cent, but the rest of the segments are all down. ‘Similarly in the next three months, there can be a marginal improvement because of excise duty reduction. But going forward we can expect some sort of turnaround only when the election takes place and new government assumes office,’ he said.
On the company's sales plans for the current fiscal, he said it would be in-sync with the market growth.

‘Last year we sold about 86,826 units, the previous year we sold about 92,000 units and the industry closed at 3.2 million units and this year we are expecting the industry to touch 3.4 million. ‘If industry touches 3.4 million units, we should also be able to register a growth from 6 to 10 per cent,’ he said. The market remained sluggish due to the hike in interest rates, he said.

‘The reason being more than 85 per cent of vehicles sold in India are financed. The interest rates during the last 14 months was revised by 12 times. Even today, the interest continues to remain high.’ The company, a part of US-based General Motors, unveiled refreshed edition of Chevrolet Beat here. Its price start from Rs 3.98 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai) for the base variant and top model is available at Rs 6.21 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai). GM India also retails hatchbacks Spark, Sail, sedan Sail U-VA, premium sedan Cruze, multi-utility vehicles Tavera, Enjoy and premium SUV Captiva.

Earlier, German car makers Audi and Mercedes-Benz had announced price cut by up to Rs 3.82 lakh.
Japanese car maker Nissan said the excise duty reduction would translate into price cuts ranging from 4 to 6 per cent across its offering in India.

Audi cut the price of its premium sports utility vehicle (SUV) Q7 by Rs 3.82 lakh to Rs 78.28 lakh from the earlier price of Rs 82.11 lakh. The base version of Q7 will retail at Rs 58.34 lakh, a cut of Rs 2.84 lakh. The price of SUV Q5 was lowered by Rs 2.22 lakh to Rs 45.72 lakh.

The German firm cut the price of the base version of its A4 sedan by Rs 72,000 to Rs 29.85 lakh. The higher variant will be cheaper by Rs 90,000 at Rs 37.04 lakh.

Rival Mercedes-Benz cut the price of its SUV GL-Class by Rs 2 lakh to Rs 72 lakh. The C-Class (C 220 Ava grand edition) would come down to Rs 39.35 lakh from Rs 39.9 lakh.

The cost of the E-Class (E 250 CDI) would be cut to Rs 46.90 lakh from Rs 47.66 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Delhi). ‘Mercedes-Benz shall pass on the best possible price benefit to our customers in spite of volatile foreign exchange movements,’ Mercedes Benz India managing director and chief executive officer Eberhard Kern said.

Mahindras slash rates by Rs 13,000 to Rs 92,000

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., India’s largest SUV manufacturer, on Thursday
announced a reduction in prices of its passenger vehicle portfolio ranging from Rs 13,000 to Rs 49,000, besides also reducing prices of its premium SUV, the Rexton by upto Rs 92,000. The reduction is due to the lower excise duties announced in the Interim Budget and would be effective immediately. Commenting on the price reduction, Pravin Shah, Chief Executive, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. expressed happiness at the Interim Budget announcements which have been taken to boost the automotive industry.

 ‘We are confident that the reduction in prices by Mahindra as well as other auto companies would provide the much  needed fillip to the auto industry. The prices of our range of commercial vehicles are also being reduced,’ he added.
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