Business

As new safety norms kick-in, M&M joins price-hike bandwagon


New Delhi, Jun 19 (IANS): In the latest blow to aspirants of personal cars in India, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Wednesday announced it would raise prices of its personal vehicles by up to Rs 36,000 across models from July 1 owing to the upcoming implementation of new vehicle safety norms.

The company in a regulatory filing attributed the decision to raise prices to the implementation of "AIS 145" safety norms from July which would mandate the fitment of several safety features including driver airbag, seat belt reminder for driver and co-driver, rear parking sensors and an overspeeding alert for the driver across all passenger vehicle models.

Mahindra is not the only automobile company in India to increase prices in the last few months. Earlier in the week, Maruti Suzuki introduced new versions of Swift and Wagon R which are compliant to the BS-VI emission norms, with a hike in their prices.

Honda and Tata Motors have already indicated a price rise across models in wake of costs rising owing to new safety norms.

The price rise would mean that customers would have to shell out more for their favourite car models in the middle of the year which normally sees auto companies raising discounts to maintain annual sales numbers.

Mahindra in its filing said: "Mahindra SUVs that will take a substantial price increase are the Scorpio, Bolero, TUV300 and KUV100 NXT, while brands such as the XUV500 and Marazzo will increase prices marginally."

Tata Motors has increased the prices of its models -- Bolt, Zest, Hexa, Storme, Nexon and Harrier.

Honda Cars India too is considering an increase vehicle prices by up to 1.2 per cent from July to offset the rise in cost of raw materials and introduction of new safety features.

This trend of price hike comes amidst cost-intensive regulatory changes as the BS-VI emission norms came into effect on April 1 and the AIS 145 gets effective on July 1.

This increase in prices comes at a time when the auto industry is going through a rough patch on account of falling sales.

According to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, domestic passenger car sales fell 26.03 per cent in May to 1,47,546 units.

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