Mahindra & Mahindra, one of India’s largest car and SUV makers, announced that the prices of its cars and SUVs will jump by up to Rs 36,000 due to new safety norms that kick in from July 1.
The biggest price increases will be felt on cheaper and older models such as Scorpio, Bolero, TUV300 and KUV100 NXT, while newer and more expensive models such as XUV500 and Marazzo will only see marginal increases.
This is because newer and more expensive models already come with many of the new mandatory safety features.
These features include driver airbag, seat belt reminder for driver and co-driver, rear parking sensors and an over speed alert for the driver.
According to government of India’s AIS 145 Safety Norms, all passenger vehicles have to come with these features from July 1.
The price increase comes at a particularly bad time for Mahindra & Mahindra and the Indian auto industry in general. The industry is in the early stages of what looks set to be a severe slowdown in demand and activity.
Players like Maruti Suzuki and Honda are reported to be faced with a glut of production, as offtake slows in the wake of an overall exhaustion in demand across the country.
Another round of price increases will kick in in about six months from now as vehicles are upgraded to engines that emit less pollutants under the BS-VI regime.
BSV-VI will kick in from April 1 next year, but newer models will hit the market around January.
Rajan Wadhera, President – Automotive Sector, M&M Ltd said his company welcomes the new safety guidelines, even though they have increased the prices of vehicles.
“We value every road user’s life and have been effectively contributing to the evolving safety ecosystem. However, the safety regulatory requirement has led to some cost increases. Consequently, we are taking a price hike across some of our passenger vehicles, effective July 1, 2019.”