Toyota set to hike prices in Japan

Car maker Toyota is widely reported to be considering raising prices in Japan - the first time it will have made such an increase without offering a new model.

The company has blamed the increases, of between 1% and 3%, on the rising cost of steel, according to a report in the Nikkei Business Daily.

Price hikes typically only take effect when models are updated, and the last time Toyota raised prices in Japan without introducing new models was in 1974 for cars and in 1992 for commercial vehicles.

However, the new increases will only apply to some models, the Nikkei said, including the Prius hybrid and the Dyna light truck. The revised prices will apply to vehicles ordered from September onwards.

"We are reluctant to raise prices in Japan because the market is so sluggish," Toyota spokeswoman Kayo Doi said. "But we have no option but to consider it."

She added that Toyota had been forced to consider raising prices without remodelling as cost cuts were failing to keep up with rising costs of steel and other raw materials.

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