Dealers’ pain is your gain

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Paul Gover -

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.

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