DaimlerChrysler will reduce prices on some of the Mercedes-Benz models, following pressure to drop prices of new vehicles following the rand’s strength against the dollar.

DaimlerChrysler will reduce prices on some of the Mercedes-Benz models, following pressure to drop prices of new vehicles following the rand’s strength against the dollar.

The vehicle manufacturer said it would reduce the prices on its top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz SL convertible range by 15 per cent, and 10 per cent for its Mercedes-Benz CLK coupe and cabriolet models. This means a reduction of up to R270 000 on the price of the SL600.

Consumers and motor dealers have been lobbying manufacturers to drop prices following the rand’s strengthening against the dollar, which has reduced the cost of importing components and vehicles.

DaimlerChrysler SA is the first vehicle manufacturer to announce price cuts after an extensive pricing review found the SL and CLK models’ prices to be “incorrectly aligned”.

This was as a result of these models being launched at a time when the rand was falling against leading currencies. DaimlerChrysler said there were now signs that the rand's recovery was in a "stable range", and this factor saw the need for prices to be adjusted.

While it was prepared to cut prices on these two models, DaimlerChrysler said prices on other Mercedes models would remain the same. Prices of Mitsubishis, Chryslers and Jeeps would remain unchanged though the parts prices for Chrysler and Jeep vehicles had been reduced 15 per cent on average recently.

Jeff Osborne, CEO of the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) said it was "commendable" that a local manufacturer was prepared to cut its margins for the benefit of local consumers. He pointed out too that price reductions were a way of stimulating demand for vehicles.

Meanwhile, both Nissan SA and Volkswagen SA have said that there would be no change in the prices of their existing ranges.

BMW SA spokesman Richard Carter said his group would make a decision on pricing at the end of the month, according to a report.