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Renault to raise prices

Up and down: Currency fluctuations means Renault Australia will look to increase it prices next year, according to the company's managing director, Justin Hocevar.

Decline of the Aussie dollar likely to see every import go up in price: Hocevar

Renault logo21 Oct 2015

By IAN PORTER

ANYONE thinking of buying a Renault – or any import – should do so quickly because prices are going to rise in 2016, according to Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar.

Speaking at the launch of a new apprentice training scheme between the French car-maker and the Kangan Institute, Mr Hocevar said Renault's current pricing would not remain as is for long.

“We’ve been holding firm on our price, but I would say it is highly likely we will have to adjust (prices) going into 2016,” he said.

Mr Hocevar said the change in the exchange rate of the Euro to the Australian dollar had not been as dramatic as between local currency and the Unites States dollar, which has seen the Aussie plunge from $US1 to 70 US cents in recent times.

The Aussie/Euro exchange rate has declined from 70 Euro cents to between 62 and 64 Euro cents over the same period, about a 12 per cent fall.

Mr Hocevar noted that some competitors had already moved and had been “clever” about it.

“They have introduced a lower-priced entry model, but their full ranges have gone up substantially in price.”

He said this reflects the fact that European brands, in particular, sell more of their higher-spec models than entry level versions.

“If the currency stays the way it is, it will impact us next year.

“We will have to adjust and it’s just a case of making sure we get the balance right. Maybe we have to address specification, maybe we have to address price on its own.”

Mr Hocevar said that while Renault is positioned at the upper end of mainstream, the slight premium the company can charge for its models is not enough to absorb the currency fluctuation.

He made the point that Renault would not be alone in dealing with the currency problem.

“I think we are going to see movement across the entire market. I think we are gong to see movement across a number of industry sectors, importers versus exporters.

“We will start to see the cost of all sorts of goods go up and cars will undoubtedly be touched as well.”

Renault has shown strong sales growth since Mr Hocevar was appointed in 2010.

In that year, Renault sold 1900 vehicles through 19 dealerships. This year it expects to sell around 12,000 vehicles through 50 dealers.

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