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HM to adopt `one price one country' concept

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SETTING A TREND: Ravi Santhanam, Managing Director, Hindustan Motors, at the launch of Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia in Bangalore recently.
SETTING A TREND: Ravi Santhanam, Managing Director, Hindustan Motors, at the launch of Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia in Bangalore recently.

K. T. Jagannathan

A uniform price will make selling exercise simple and transparent

CHENNAI: Car maker Hindustan Motors has decided to adopt `one price one country' concept, setting a new trend in the automobile industry.

The company has opted to have a single price across the country for three of its offerings, including the latest premium car Cedia.

The 2-litre Cedia car, launched at the recent auto show in Delhi, will be available at Rs. 9.87 lakh ex-showroom across the country. This is, perhaps, the first time that a car company is offering a uniform price for buyers.

The single price for Cedia followed the company's successful experiment with Lancer, done couple of months ago. Like Cedia, Hindustan Motors has fixed a uniform price of Rs. 6.59 lakh for 1.5 litre Lancer (petrol) and Rs. 7.69 lakh for two-litre Lancer (diesel). Sources said that the company would also announce a uniform price for the 2.8 litre Pajero soon. Indications are that Pajero will have a single price of Rs. 18.25 lakh.

"We have done a lot of market research before adopting `one country one price' model," sources said. Hindustan Motors had also sort of dispensed with the practice of `permutation offerings' and had chosen to come out with `fully appointed Cedia' with all features. The `permutation offerings' had injected uncertainties in the minds of prospective buyers, these sources pointed out.

A uniform price across the nation, sources said, would make the entire selling exercise simple and transparent.

"The customers should know that they are paying the right price for their cars,'' they said. "There will be no extra price other than road tax, insurance and registration fee that are third party payments,'' they added.

Though it has decided to adopt a single price concept for three premium offerings - Lancer, Cedia and Pajero - Hindustan Motors has not yet formalised its thoughts on having a uniform price for Ambassador, its oldest offering. "We are just experimenting it,'' a ranking official said.

Cedia will have 35 per cent local content. The engine is imported from Japan. Cedia and Cedia Sport will both be available in six colours. "It has fully appointed interiors with lots of thoughtful features, versatile suspension, huge brakes and the like,'' they said. The Thiruvallur facility of Hindustan Motors makes all these models. It has a capacity to produce 22-24 vehicles a day in single shift. "We want to increase it to 28-30 units a day,'' sources said.

On the day of Cedia launch, Mitsubishi Motor Corporation of Japan had officially announced plans to launch, through its Indian partner Hindustan Motors, a new Pajero, Outlander and Grandis models, in the country. It is gleaned from authoritative sources that Hindustan Motors would launch the sports utility vehicle (SUV) 3.2-litre Montero in India sometime in May-June. This would be imported in CBU (completely built unit) form.


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