New Delhi:It is that time of the year again, when car companies begin to announce price hikes applicable from the new year.
Usually, price increases are blamed on mounting raw material costs but this time, Maruti Suzuki India has blamed the increase on currency fluctuations.
Make no mistake. Over the next few days, other car companies will also come forward and announce moderate price increases.
But is it not odd that on one hand, cars are slated to get more expensive while on the other, discounts across most brands are running at an all-time high?
So will an increase really make that much of a difference to any car company's bottomline when it might be more than wiped out by discounts.
The price increase cry usually begins at the start of December since car companies believe this will push some reluctant buyers to bring forward their purchases to December itself. Being the last calendar month of a year, customers avoid buying vehicles in December since the chassis number they can get by buying in January will be of the next year and this helps when selling off the car.
But corporate buying sometimes picks up in December because of high discounts which companies offer to clear stock.
So actually, if you were to wait for the first fortnight of January for buying your dream machine, you may not be worse off. That's because dealers are usually left with some unsold stock of 2012, which is available at older prices but with the old chassis number as well.
Also, many times car companies do not actually charge new, higher prices of the cars from January 1 itself, postponing the hike by a few days to spur demand. So ideally, look for the best bargain in terms of discounts before booking a car now.
An agency story today quoted Maruti's Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek saying prices will be increased by up to Rs 20,000 for all Maruti cars from January. He said the price hike has been necessitated due to increasing pressure on the margins due to the currency fluctuation.
The company currently sells a variety of models starting from the M800 to imported Kizashi at a price range starting from Rs 2.09 lakh to Rs 17.52 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Here's a look at discounts which have been advertised prominently across Delhi' daily newspapers this morning:
Eon: almost Rs 30,000
i20: Rs 37,000 on petrol and Rs 15000 on diesel
i10: Rs 53,000
Toyota: upto Rs 45,000 on diesel and petrol models of Etios and Liva
Xylo: Upto Rs 70,000
Scorpio: Upto Rs 50,000
Verito: upto Rs 45,000
Bolero: upto Rs 30,000
Since the discounts are so hefty, one doubts if the price increases will actually make any car you choose to buy more expensive than what it is now.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 14:40:52 IST