Those of you who are planning to book a Volkswagen Vento diesel, here’s a bit of bad news. Prices of the Vento diesel will be 2.2 percent more expensive, starting July 1, 2011. This will make the price of the top-end 1.6 Vento TDI Highline, about Rs. 9.44 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi, while the base 1.6 TDI Trendline will be available for about Rs. 8.17 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi. There is no price increase for the petrol variants, however.
This is a wrong time for Volkswagen to be hiking prices, considering that the Vento got overtaken in sales in May by both the new Hyundai Verna, which sold over 4,350 cars, and the Maruti SX4, which sold 2,700 cars. Volkswagen managed to sell only about 2,400 Ventos in May, according to industry data compiled by Team-BHP. These sales numbers are for both petrol and diesel variants of these cars. In March and April, the Vento was the sales leader among its peers (see chart).
However, Neeraj Garg, director, Volkswagen India said the hike in prices is inevitable because the company has been under pressure of increased input costs in the country. “The Vento diesel has been well accepted in the market since its launch in September 2010. Its quality and drivability have won the Vento many accolades. We want to continue maintaining the same standard and quality for our customers. However, we have seen no relent in the input costs over several months now, which has forced us to increase the cost of the Vento,” says Garg.
But as a goodwill gesture, Volkswagen says it will not increase the price of its petrol variants. “We are fully aware that customers who prefer the petrol variants are already faced with the burden of increased fuel costs and therefore we have decided to continue absorbing the additional costs for our petrol variants,” says Garg.
Source: Team-BHP, company data
As a further incentive to boost the sales of its petrol variant, Volkswagen is offering a reduced interest rate on loans in tie-ups with banks at 6.99 percent for the month of June.
Volkswagen has already sold 23,649 units of the Vento since its launch in India in September 2010, most of which have been diesel variants. With the increase in prices of the Vento, car-for-car the Hyundai Verna now seems even more attractive, when you look at features vs. price. Also read: Verna outsells Vento, SX4 and City in May.
For instance, the Hyundai Verna 1.6 SX CRDi, equipped with dual airbags, parking sensors, ABS, rear-view camera, Bluetooth and auto-fold mirrors and powered by a 126 bhp engine is priced at Rs. 934,500 ex-showroom Delhi, while the Vento 1.6 TDI Highline with a 105 bhp engine, which has fewer features than this, but only rear-AC vents to redeem itself will be about Rs. 10,000 more expensive. Also read: Driving the 2011 Hyundai Verna.
If you have already booked a diesel Vento and are awaiting delivery, you can breathe easy as there will be no increase in price. And those planning to book a diesel Vento, better hurry, as this price increases kicks in only for bookings after July 1.