SHAH ALAM, Oct 5, 2015:

In what had been a widely expected move, UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd has become the first car manufacturer to raise car prices – citing the impact of the weaker ringgit on imported car parts.

In a statement today, UMW Toyota said it is raising the prices of its Toyota and Lexus models in Malaysia from January. “The price increase varies between 4% to 16% across all models.”

Noting that the ringgit has so far depreciated by around 20%, UMW Toyota said: “The company has weighed all possible options, but has no choice but to pass on some cost to the consumers to offset rising input costs.”

President Datuk Ismet Suki explained: “The company would have implemented necessary measures to minimise forex losses impact and address the fluctuation of ringgit if it dropped gradually.

“Unfortunately, the sudden and huge fluctuation of ringgit within a short period, has given great impact to our operations. Hence, the company will have to increase the prices of Toyota and Lexus vehicles effective January 2016. The increase is inevitable as there is no clear indication on when the ringgit will rebound.

“With the increase of our vehicle price, we could only recover partially, not 100% from the impact we have been absorbing. If the ringgit continues to slide in the near future, we may need to review our pricing structure again.” Expressing optimism the price increase would not have a big impact on sales, he added: “We are facing challenging times but UMW Toyota is confident we can ride out the storm.

“We have strong fundamentals and a proven track record. I believe customers will continue to choose us and our vehicles as we deliver quality products and services that complement their lifestyles.”

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