Germany’s Mercedes-Benz and France’s Peugeot have decided to offer some relief to the Swiss customers, moving to reduce prices on their cars as the country is beleaguered by the sudden rise on value of the local currency.
According to a statement from the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer Daimler AG, the company’s Mercedes and Smart vehicles will be offered at a “currency rebate” of 18 percent taken from the base list price of the models. PSA Peugeot Citroen also established a program that would offer rebates of as much as 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,140) off Peugeot models and 1,500 francs off the marquee’s commercial vehicles. According to a spokesperson for the French automaker, the bonus offer is valid through the end of January and if the situation takes a turn for the worse, there would be additional measures.
The Swiss National Bank created a shockwave after it surprisingly decided to give up its minimum exchange rate, causing a massive surge of the franc over the euro currency – deeply unsettling equity and foreign-exchange markets. The central bank abandoned its traditional policy of preventing the franc from strengthening beyond 1.20 to the euro. Since the SNB’s decision, the franc, which traded at around 1.01 per euro now, has surged against most currencies – with imports to the country being less expensive and exports increasing the cost.
The surprise decision made numerous Swiss-based businesses to quickly rethink strategies to survive, with the traditional travel and luxury sectors being the hardest hit.