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Maruti price hike in two months

New Delhi, Oct. 14: Maruti Udyog may hike prices within two months due to rising input costs and a globally appreciating Japanese currency, managing director Jagdish Khattar said.

“A price hike can be expected in December since the Yen has become extremely strong against the rupee and this is a cause for concern since we source auto parts from Japan,” Khattar said at the launch of an upgraded version of Wagon R priced at Rs 3.29 lakh.

Asked if the car maker was planning to introduce any new models in 2003-04, he said: “We do bring in new products, but it takes some time.”

Khattar also said Maruti was talking to steel suppliers based in South Korea and Japan since the existing contract expires during the third quarter (Oct-Dec) of the current financial year. Steel prices have been volatile in the global market with London Metal Exchange prices for finished steel fluctuating between $200 and $300 a tonne.

Maruti also said the strike at DCM Engineering, a key vendor supplier of cylinder heads, have ended.

DCM Engineering meets 70 per cent of Maruti's requirement for cylinder heads for cars sold in the domestic market and all its requirements for exports. It had been on strike for more than two months affecting productions at Maruti.

“The strike was called off on Saturday and normal supply of cylinder heads should resume within a week,” Khattar said.

“We are certainly doing much better than last year and we have improved our market share despite the fact that we have faced some constraints due to this strike,” he added.

Sales at Maruti, 54.2 per cent stake of which is held by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp, grew 26 per cent during the first six months of 2003-04 against an industry growth of 22 per cent.

“We have been growing more than the market and our effort would be to maintain our current volumes,” said Khattar.

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