General Motors reduces prices by up to Rs 49,000

Car maker General Motors India has reduced prices of its various models by up to Rs 49,000 following the excise duty cut across car categories announced in the interim budget.

The company has reduced prices across categories in the range starting from Rs 12,000 to Rs 49,000, General Motors India Vice-President P Balendran told PTI today.

Following the announcement of excise duty cut for cars by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the interim budget on Monday, the carmaker had said that it would pass on the duty relief to its consumers.

Other auto makers, including market leader Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India, Mahindra & Mahindra and Honda Cars India, have also reduced prices across product categories.

The excise duty has been cut to 8 per cent from 12 per cent for small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles; 24 per cent from 30 per cent for SUVs; 20 per cent for mid-sized cars from 24 per cent and 24 per cent for large cars from 27 per cent.

Balendran, however, said that the duty cut would marginally improve sales for auto makers and the industry is expected to turnaround only when a new government assumes office post the general election.

"This is only a short-term measure. The excise duty cut is going to be applicable till June 20. Even today the market sentiments are bad. The volume numbers are down even in this segment," he said, adding that there has been a growth in the compact SUV segment of about 34 per cent, but the rest of the segments are all down.

"Similarly in the next three months, there can be a marginal improvement because of excise duty reduction. But going forward we can expect some sort of turnaround only when the election takes place and new government assumes office," he said.

On the company's sales plans for the current fiscal, he said it would be in-sync with the market growth.

"Last year we sold about 86,826 units, the previous year we sold about 92,000 units. Last year the industry closed at 3.2 million units and this year we are expecting the industry to touch 3.4 million.

"If industry touches 3.4 million units, we should also be able to register a growth from 6 to 10 per cent," he said.

The market remained sluggish due to the hike in interest rates, he said. "The reason being more than 85 per cent of vehicles sold in India are financed. The interest rates during the last 14 months was revised by 12 times. Even today, the interest continues to remain high."

The company, a part of US-based General Motors, unveiled refreshed edition of Chevrolet Beat here. Its price start from Rs 3.98 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai) for the base variant and top model is available at Rs 6.21 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai).

GM India also retails hatchbacks Spark, Sail, sedan Sail U-VA, premium sedan Cruze, multi-utility vehicles Tavera, Enjoy and premium SUV Captiva.

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