Wednesday, March 06, 2013
By Pawan Rana
Petrol price hike by Rs 1.40 per litre, panic in car industry
People of India could not stumble back to normal after the February 16 price hike that they suffered another bang on Friday when the petrol price was hiked by Rs 1.40 per litre. This is the second in less than a fortnight and this shows how desperate the government to pinch the common man’s pocket. Meanwhile, people were seen making beeline of petrol pumps and large queues were seen in almost all parts of the country. In Jaipur, newly wed Yogesh Sharma wanted to go on a ride to his hometown on this weekend but he had to rush his Maruti Wagon R to the nearest pump on Friday to get a tank full before the new prices come into force from Saturday.
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Both BJP and its allies have summarily condemned the latest petrol price rise by the government and have asked a roll back immediately. Meanwhile, the petrol price rise came as a second jolt for car makers who were already bruised with the budget. ‘This will not only draw the car buyer away from car showrooms but will also make it use public transport instead,’ said an expert. The common man who had been weaving dreams and saving money to buy a Maruti Alto 800 or any other small car will instead save it for some other purpose and will refrain from buying a car. This price hike is only for common man and the luxury car owners are untouched by it as they seldom care about the price of petrol or diesel.
It is said the petrol price hike was necessary following the rise in international price of petrol as well as the devaluation of rupee. But it is sure that the hike may or may not be able to compensate the loss of the oil companies but it will certainly put brakes on car sales in the country that is already reeling under crisis due to several of these factors. Maruti has recently posted 8 percent loss, while Hyundai grew by meager 5.4 percent while Tata too posted not so inspiring results and this Budget as well as the price rise will do the rest of the damage. So, expect some feeble sales growth numbers being posted by car companies in this month and the months to come.
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