The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hyundai puts brakes on Santro price hike

Calcutta, Jan. 23: Intense competition in the local four-wheeler market has forced Hyundai Motor India Ltd to put on hold the price hike plan for its largest selling Santro.

The company had said last month that it would raise the price of Santro by two to three per cent because of the steep increase in input costs.

With the range of freebies and discounts that other auto manufacturers are offering, Hyundai has found it difficult to raise prices as well as maintain market share.

A senior official has confirmed that there is no immediate plan to raise the prices of Santro, which is now a top selling car in the compact B segment. “Any price rise might affect the growth rate of our car since the Indian consumers are very price sensitive,” he said.

The official, however, said the margin will come under pressure as the steel prices are rising. “Since last March, the domestic steel companies have raised prices at least five times while most of the auto manufacturers could not afford to raise prices. On the other hand, the auto market is now full of freebies and discounts and automatically a consumer will go where he gets the most attractive schemes,” he said.

Meanwhile, the largest four-wheeler manufacturer, Maruti Udyog Ltd, has effected a price increase ranging from 0.33 per cent to 1.7 per cent. However, it has laced the price hike with a New Year bonanza of hefty cash prizes and hundreds of freebies for customers who buy between January 3 and February 28.

The campaign, ‘Change your life’, has come with various offerings like two cash prizes of Rs 21 lakh each and two other cash prizes of Rs 11 lakh each. This apart, there are 2,030 gift vouchers, LG digital home white goods along with an assured gift for every customer.

The Suzuki subsidiary has decided to spend around Rs 50 crore on this campaign.

The other major player, Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co (Telco), however, has no plans to increase prices for its prima donna — Indica.

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