Buying a new car will be more expensive after the New Year as major auto-makers like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India today declaring their intent to effect a price hike across product lines from January due to input cost pressure.

The two companies’ move comes a day after another leading manufacturer, General Motors India, said it will hike prices by up to 2.5 per cent from January.

“We have been absorbing increase in input costs, but now we have decided to pass it marginally to customers. From January onwards, there will be an increase in prices of vehicles by 1.5-2 per cent,” Hyundai Motor India Ltd Director Sales and Marketing Arvind Saxena told PTI.

Similarly, the country’s largest car-maker, Maruti Suzuki India, said it will also hike vehicle prices soon to offset rising input costs and the impact of the strengthening yen.

“In the past few months, the input costs have increased significantly. We have been absorbing so far through internal efficiency measure, but now we have to pass it on to the consumers,” Maruti Suzuki India Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said.

Asked by how much and when the prices would be increased, he said: “We are currently working out on it, but it is certain that we have to raise prices and by January, we will take a final decision.”

He said the company had to take the call as commodity prices have appreciated sharply in the past couple of months.

“The price of natural rubber, which used to be Rs 100 per kg, has gone up to Rs 200 per kg. Copper price has increased by 12-15 per cent and steel has also seen a similar increase,” Pareek said.

Moreover, the yen versus dollar equation continues to be adverse, with the Japanese currency gaining. There seems to be no softening of these factors, he added.

Over the past few weeks, the yen has risen sharply against the weak dollar and was hovering just above the 80 yen per dollar mark.

Yesterday, General Motors India said it will increase the prices of its models by 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent from the first week of January next year.

Other major players Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra did not comment when asked whether they had plans for similar price hikes due to the rise in input costs.

It should be noted that there has been a trend in recent years for auto companies to announce a pending price hike just before the New Year to push sales.

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