The move, instituted by two of Europe's largest automakers, comes in response to the surprise decision last week by the Swiss National Bank to suddenly abandon its longstanding policy of capping trading of the Swiss Franc to 1.20 francs per euro. The policy has sent the value of the franc soaring, making imports into Switzerland less expensive while increasing the value of its exports.
The discounts being offered by the automakers could therefore be viewed more as price adjustments to better match the changing currency value rather than an actual incentive. But whichever way you look at it, a new Mercedes or Smart will now cost Swiss buyers 18 percent less than the list price, while Peugeot and Citroën dealers in the Confoederatio Helvetica are chopping 1,000 francs ($1,144) off the price of a new passenger car or 1,500 francs ($1,716) for a new commercial vehicle.
Conversely, high-end Swiss watchmakers like Rolex and Patek Philippe are looking at increasing their prices to keep up with the currency fluctuation, particularly in Japan, where the yen has dropped 17 percent against the franc in the past few days.