If you thought global bestsellers like Honda Accord, the Mercedes C Class and Hyundai Sonata are available in India at affordable prices, think again.
The same models are sold abroad at a much cheaper price. In fact, in India you are paying up to 25-100 per cent more than your counterpart in the US, Australia or Thailand.
For example, Mercedes Benz, which represents the top end of the luxury segment in the country, has introduced a bevy of new models all of which happen to be 65-110 per cent costlier than similar models in Europe.
Honda sells various models of its City at 18-55 per cent higher prices than in Thailand, the only other market were the product has been launched apart from India.
The Honda warhorse, Accord, however is expensive by only 5-10 per cent than its Thai counterpart.
And if the Japanese and the Germans are doing it, can the Koreans be far behind? The recently-launched Hyundai Sonata comes with a price tag 70 per cent heavier than in the US.
This definitely does not mean that Indians have more money in their hands than consumers in the US. It is a combination of high taxes and a deliberate ploy by companies to make bigger profits in a low volumes market.
On their part, automobile companies say in one voice that it is because of the high taxes
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