Steel costs force Nissan prices up

Japan's third-biggest car manufacturer has announced price hikes for some of its commercial models because of the soaring costs of steel and other materials.

Nissan held back from increasing the prices of its more popular passenger cars despite considering raising domestic prices for some time because the cost of raw materials.

Earlier this week, Toyota, Japan's biggest car company, raised prices for its Prius and Harrier gas-electric hybrids, as well as some commercial models. It is the first hike without a model makeover in three decades.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan said he hoped to take a cue on price hikes from market leader Toyota, but Tokyo-based Nissan lacks comparable hybrid offerings in Japan.

Raising prices is widely seen as risky partly because the Japanese market has been sluggish recently.

Nissan said prices will be raised on several of its light commercial vehicles in Japan by an average of 2.2%, from October 1, including Atlas H43 and Caravan.

Toyota's new prices showed an average increase of 3% for the two gas-electric hybrid models, and an average 2% for several commercial vehicles.

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(RAC motoring forum)