Apple, automobile companies cut prices in GST's wake

By IANS
2nd Jul 2017
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A day after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into practice, Apple on Saturday reduced the retail prices of iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watch models for its consumers in India.

The Rs 60,000 Apple iPhone 7 (32GB variant) can now be purchased at Rs 56,200. The Rs 70,000 iPhone 7 (128GB) is now available for Rs 65,200 and the Rs 80,000 256GB variant at Rs 74,400.

The base model (32GB) of Apple iPhone 7 Plus is now available at Rs 67,300 as opposed to Rs 72,000 previously.

The 32GB model of iPhone SE (Rs 27,200), being assembled in Bengaluru, will now cost Rs 26,000. The 32GB iPhone 6s (Rs 50,000) is now available at Rs 46,900.

The new prices have taken the basic customs duty (BCD) of 10 percent into account.

"I think it is a good move ahead of the upcoming festive season. We believe the best way for Apple to increase their share in India is to bridge the gap between affordability and aspirational value of iPhone. Even in the past, they have tasted success with 4S, 5S and iPhone 6 when reduced the price," Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems at New Delhi-based Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

"By the end of 2017, we believe iPhone 6 and SE can be the flagships through which most users are going to enter the Apple ecosystem for the first time ever," Pathak added.

India has gained a significant place in the Apple scheme of things in the recent past.

YS-TimCook
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently told Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was visiting the US, that his company is positive about the production of the iPhone SE in Bengaluru.

According to industry sources, Cook apprised the Prime Minister about the production of Apple's popular iPhone SE model at its Bengaluru facility and the app developers working for Apple.

In May, Apple began the initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru, where it had opened its App Accelerator to provide specialised support for developers earlier this year in March.

Apart from iPhones, Apple also slashed prices of iPads, Macs and Apple Watch.

According to experts, the price drop post-GST will help Apple cement its position in the challenging Indian market.

Currently, Apple has three percent market share by volume and 11 percent by value in the country.

Good time to purchase a car

On Saturday, automobile majors like Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Audi India announced that they have reduced prices on various models.

However, owing to withdrawal of tax concessions on mild hybrid vehicles, the prices of vehicles in this category like Maruti Suzuki's 'Smart Hybrid Ciaz Diesel' and 'Smart Hybrid Ertiga Diesel' have been increased.

Similarly, Toyota Kirloskar Motor hiked prices of its hybrid variants Toyota Camry and Toyota Prius by over Rs 3.5 lakh in Bangalore and going up to Rs 5.24 lakh in New Delhi as per applicable tax under GST framework.

On its part, automobile major Maruti Suzuki India said that after the implementation of GST, the ex-showroom prices of its models have come down by up to three percent.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) India said in a statement, "Post GST regime, Jaguar Land Rover's locally manufactured prices have come down by seven per cent on an average," the company said in a statement. Audi India said that it has reduced prices between three and nine percent, depending upon the model and region. "The new realigned prices offer great opportunity to expand the market and widen our customer base," said Rahil Ansari, Head, Audi India.

In addition, Toyota Kirloskar Motor reduced prices of its models by up to 13 percent.

The company said that price change will vary according to state, model and variant.

N. Raja, director and Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said,

"The GST will be fruitful for the growth of the Indian auto industry. We think the industry will break into double-digit growth territory this year."

Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp said that it has reduced prices of models across its product portfolio in most of the states.

"The quantum of reduction ranges from Rs 400 to Rs 1,800 on mass-selling models. The actual benefit varies from state to state, depending on the pre and post-GST rates," the two-wheeler major said in a statement.

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