Maruti, Hyundai, Mahindra lower prices after excise duty cut

Finance Minister P Chidambaram proposed the excise duty cuts on February 17 "to give relief to the automobile industry, which is registering unprecedented negative growth."

PTI| Updated: Feb 19, 2014, 19:07 PM IST

New Delhi: The country's biggest car makers, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) and Hyundai Motor India, Wednesday reduced prices across product portfolios to capitalise on excise duty cuts in the Interim Budget and revive sales.

Honda Cars India, Volkswagen, Mahindra & Mahindra and Fiat also announced price cuts.

While MSI's price reduction ranges between Rs 8,502 and Rs 30,984 across models, Hyundai slashed prices by between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,35,300.

"The entire benefit of the excise duty cut is being passed on to customers for the full range of models," MSI said in a statement.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram proposed the excise duty cuts on February 17 "to give relief to the automobile industry, which is registering unprecedented negative growth."

Annual car sales in India declined for the first time in 11 years in 2013 as the auto industry reeled under a prolonged demand slump due to the economic slowdown.

Volkswagen cut prices of its cars in India in the range of Rs 14,500 and Rs 51,000.'

Mahindra said the price reduction for its passenger vehicles is between Rs 13,000 and Rs 49,000. The company also lowered prices of its premium SUV, Rexton, by up to Rs 92,000.

Fiat said its cars would be Rs 8,000-12,000 cheaper, depending on the variants. The company sells the Punto and Linea models in the country.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) said customers would get the full benefit of the excise duty relief across models from Eon to Santa Fe.

"The reduction in excise duty would substantially reduce the prices, making cars more affordable. The quantum of benefit will vary from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1,35,300 across all the models," HMIL Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Rakesh Srivastava said.

Chidambaram cut excise duty to 8 percent from 12 percent for small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles; 24 percent from 30 percent for SUVs; 20 percent for mid-sized cars from 24 percent and 24 percent for large cars from 27 percent.

German car makers Audi and Mercedes-Benz had announced price cuts on February 17, after the Interim Budget was presented in Parliament.

Maruti Suzuki cut the price of its entry-level Alto hatchback by Rs 8,502, while the maximum reduction of Rs 30,984 was for its top-end variant of the SX4 sedan.

MSI also revised the price of its recently launched Celerio car, lowering it by Rs 13,615.

The price of the Alto K10 was reduced by Rs 11,304 and that of the entry-level variant of Omni was cut by Rs 8,698.

The multipurpose vehicle Eeco will become cheaper by Rs 10,881. MSI reduced the price of the entry-level variant of the WagonR hatchback by Rs 12,578 and that of the A-Star by Rs 13,482.

The price of compact car Estillo was cut by Rs 12,148 and that of hatchback Ritz by Rs 15,130.

Prices of the Swift and DZire models have been lowered by Rs 15,874 and Rs 17,884, respectively. The company also cut the price of multi utility vehicle Ertiga by Rs 18,747 and that of the SX4 sedan in the range of Rs 16,618 to Rs 30,984.

Hyundai Motor India Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Rakesh Srivastava said the company will extend the benefit of the excise duty cuts to customers with immediate effect and will also support its dealerships suitably.

Volkswagen reduced prices of all its cars. While prices of Polo have been reduced by Rs 18,000 to Rs 31,000, those of the Vento sedan have been cut by between Rs 14,500 and Rs 27,000. Its premium Jetta sedan has become cheaper by between Rs 38,000 and Rs 51,000.

Mahindra & Mahindra said the prices of its range of commercial vehicles would also be reduced.

"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," said Pravin Shah, Mahindra & Mahindra Chief Executive, Automotive Division.

Honda Cars India reduced prices of its models by as much as Rs 44,741 with immediate effect.

"The reduction in duty will give the necessary boost to consumer demand and fuel growth in the auto industry. We are happy to pass on the benefit of the duty reduction to our customers," Honda Cars India Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales, Jnaneswar Sen said.

A Fiat spokesperson said the full benefits of excise duty cut are being passed on to consumers with immediate effect.

Nissan Motor India slashed prices of its vehicles by up to 6 percent from February 18. The cut is on its Micra Active, Micra, Sunny, Evalia, Terrano and Teana models, Nissan Motor India said in a release.