It has emerged that the high selling Renault Duster might soon get a price hike. A high Renault-Nissan official, Mr Sunil Rekhi, has commented that Renault India might decide to pass on the increase in excise duty onto the buyers of the Duster Compact SUV.
It may be noted that Renault India has two SUVs in its line up- the Duster and the Korleos. Now, the Koleos comes to us via CBU route and this means that the increase in import duty along with the increased excise duty for SUVs will lead to a big hike in the price of the Koleos.
The locally made Duster too might get a slight price increase on the back of the new Union budget.
Here is what Mr. Sunil Rekhi, CFO of Renault Nissan, had to say about the increase in excise duty for SUVs- “He (the Finance Minister) has tinkered a bit on the SUV while making a change in that, trying to tap the growth there. Well the government has to be paid the duties, you cant expect not to be. The law says you need to charge the duty. We need to pass on and give the duty to the government. It (SUV) is a growing sector, and as the investment and the infrastructure grows, this should help growth of volume and it should overall grow the car market and we feel that it will help the growth.”
Currently, as per Government of India, cars with ground clearance measuring over 170mm can be classified as SUVs. Now, such a definition puts many cars into the ‘SUV’ category and the condition is such that even some of the sedans fall in SUV segment by the above definition. Hence, Indian government might be working on updating this definition.
Talking about the Duster in specific, the diesel variants of this Compact SUV has already been thru a couple of price increases and in all chances, the prices of only the petrol variants will be hiked due to the increase in excise duty.
Speaking of the Ford EcoSport, which is close to being launched and will be the biggest rival to the Duster, the Ford compact SUV is being expected to be unaffected by the excise duty hike on SUVs and in all probability, will be classified as a small car in India.