Bicycle prices set to rise by 5-7 pc from Feb

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Chandigarh, Jan 17 (PTI) Bicycle is now going to becostlier from February. Bicycle makers have decided to raiseprices by 5 to 7 per cent in view of rising input, especiallysteel and rubber.

"We are going to increase prices of bicycles by 5 to 7per cent because of unimaginable increase in input prices likesteel, rubber etc," Ludhiana-based Avon Cycles MD Onkar Pahwatold PTI today.

Bicycle makers will be raising the prices with effectfrom February and they have started asking their retailers toraise rates accordingly.

"We will not be raising bicycle rates at one go. Rather,first we will increase rates by Rs 60-65 per bicycle fromFebruary 1 and then another similar hike will be made fromFebruary 15 in bicycle prices," said Pahwa.

Another prominent bicycle maker Safari Group will alsobe raising the rates by Rs 65 to Rs 100 per bicycle, acrossthe models from next month.

"We have asked our retailers to raise rates of bicyclefrom February by Rs 65 to Rs 100 depending on models," SafariGroup MD RD Sharma said.

With the sudden increase in steel prices coupled withconsistent rise in rubber, nickel, the input cost has gone upby Rs 100-150 per bicycle, which has hit the wafer-thin marginof the industry hard.

"We have seen huge spurt in prices of steel, nickel,copper, zinc, rubber... which has increased the input cost byover Rs 100 per bicycle," country''s leading bicycle maker HeroCycles Director SK Rai said while adding that it was yet todecide on how much cost to be passed on to customers.

Stating that the bicycle is a price-sensitive item, hesaid that bicycles are mainly meant for poor people who couldnot afford any other transportation mode.

According to bicycle makers, prices of steel, which is akey input in bicycle making, has shot up by Rs 32 to Rs 35 perkg in the last one month. Natural rubber prices have jumped byalmost 25 per cent in past three months to Rs 210 per kg.

Besides, increase in nickel and copper rates have alsohit the bicycle cluster.

Country''s bicycle production is estimated at 1.30crore per annum with Ludhiana being the oldest cluster for it,having 70 to 80 per cent of share in the total production. PTICHS

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