Benz to hike prices of models from May 1st

If you’re one of those who always wanted to own a Mercedes Benz, it might be a while before you can afford to plunge into the lavish confines of a Benz. Mercedes Benz has issued an official statement indicating that prices of all its models will be revised (read: increased) effective from 1st May 2011.

“The rising input costs and challenging exchange rates as well as inflationary impacts are areas that have a bearing on the cost of the final product. We have absorbed these to a significant level but moving forward we will have to pass on some portion of this impact to the customer. The prices of all Mercedes-Benz models will be revised upwards effective 1st May 2011 for the India,” Mr. Peter Honegg, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India said in a statement.

What this means is that the already expensive dream of owning a Mercedes Benz will now be realized only by those who have the bucks to back their aspirations. Mercedes Benz has always been an exclusive brand and the price hike will ensure it stays out of most people’s hands. Mercedes Benz however isn’t the first car-manufacturer to pass the brunt of rising input costs to their customers; several car makers have already hiked prices of their vehicles.

Benz to hike prices of models from May 1st
Photo: Mercedes-Benz S Class Saloon

Toyota had increased the prices of its bestselling models in India such as the Innova, Corolla Altis and Fortuner by 1 – 1.5%. April 1st onwards customers had to shell out an additional Rs. 12, 557 – Rs. 18, 424 for the Toyota Innova depending on the variants. The Corolla Altis petrol’s prices went up by Rs. 10,400 to Rs. 14,500 while the diesel spec Altis became dearer by Rs. 14,100 to Rs. 17,700. The Toyota Fortuner bore the heaviest brunt of the price hike with an increase of Rs. 20,000. Related: Toyota hikes prices of key models

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker that just sold a record 38,000 Altos in March too was forced to hike prices of all its models by up to Rs. 9,000 from April 5, due to rising input costs. This translated into a hike of between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 9,000 across the 15 models ranging from the Maruti 800 to the Kizashi that Maruti sells in India. Related: Maruti raises prices by up to Rs.9000 across models

Even Nissan Motor India had followed suit and had hiked prices of its small car, the Micra citing rising input costs as the key reason. The hike varied from Rs. 2,500 to Rs.11,170 depending on the variant.

DWS Auto had earlier reported that luxury car brands in India, especially the German trio, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi are exploring possibilities to assemble their cars locally. The move came in the wake of the Indian government’s customs duty hike from 10% to 30% (earlier the 2011 Union Budget had proposed a 60% hike) on luxury cars assembled using CKD (Completely-Knocked Down) kits. Also read: Luxury cars exploring means to avoid brunt of custom duty

The rise in input costs and the custom duty hike is at the end of the day sad news for the consumer who will have to bear the brunt of rising prices.