Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) has decided to increase prices across its range starting January 2009 owing to the 20% depreciation of the Indian Rupee.

“Many of the parts are imported and the rupee’s depreciation has made them expensive. Thus, we will be revising car prices with effect from the first week of January,” said vice-president marketing HSCI Jnaneswar Sen.

The impact would mostly affect imported ‘completely-built-up’ models like the sports-utility vehicle CR-V and the Accord which uses around 75% imported components.
“Tthe price of the CR-V will go up by at least INR 150,000 and the Accord by around INR 30-50,000,” said Sen.

The civic which uses 22% imported Japanese components will see a price increase of around INR 10-20,000, while the company does not plan to increase the price of the new recently launched 3rd generation ‘City’.

During the past few months the Indian Rupee has been weakening against the US dollar.
“The cost of imports from Japan alone has gone up by 30-35% in the last three months, while there has been talk of steel getting cheaper, the price of auto grade steel has still not come down,” said Sen.

The Indian automobile industry like everywhere else is facing a slowdown due to high interest rates and stringent lending of financing institutions.

HSCI, sold 23,476 units during the period of April–Sept’08 as against 29,291 units sold in Apr–Sept ’07, yet sales dropped 28% at 24,952 units between the periods of April-October this year compared to 34,578 units during the same period last year.

The company sold 3,104 units in September 2008 as against 5,674 units in September 2007, while the cumulative sales of the company during the calendar year period Jan–Sept was 43,912 units as against 47,312 units during the same period last year.

Kevin Jacobs