Dealers’ pain is your gain
DOLLAR dealing is about to become the biggest news in Australian motoring. The slowdown in sales in the past few months, which reached landslide proportions in August, has forced a reaction from carmakers who are keen to keep their dealerships moving cars and making money.
GM Holden is promising petrol at 99 cents a litre, Hyundai has a ‘‘celebration sales clearance’’ and Proton has ‘‘repositioned’’ its Satria with price cuts of $2000.
Insiders says things are so tough that even Toyota dealers, who are among the best and most profitable in the business, are doing it hard. Some might even be trading at a loss.
But it’s all creating one of the best buyers’ markets in recent memory — for new and secondhand cars.
‘‘It’s a great time for people to buy,’’ Tony Devers, general manager of Suzuki Australia, says.
He is lucky because Suzuki is in the small-car business with fuel-efficient cars, a strength that allows him to pass judgment on many others.
Devers says the biggest bargains are actually on used-car lots.
‘‘Anyone with second-hand or used six-cylinder vehicles is writ- ing them back about $1000 a month. No one wants big sixes and V8s,’’ he says.
‘‘The auction houses don’t want them any more, either.’’
But he says new-car dealers are going through a bad patch, which makes it a great time to buy.
‘‘People think dealers have $10,000 margins on their cars, but that’s rubbish. The margins are actually very tight.’’
Make an offer: with sales slowing, and car yards filling, now’s a great time to buy a new car.