They’ve all gotta go

Prices tum­ble as sales move into slow gear

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Market Forces - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@cars­

PRICES of two car mod­els were slashed this week as March sales braked hard.

Toy­ota’s eco-friendly Prius hy­brid was the first to move with the price down be­tween $5000 and $7500 de­pend­ing on the model. Ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, Prius is now $34,990 and the up­mar­ket i-Tech ver­sion, $45,990.

Toy­ota Aus­tralia says the sub­stan­tial drop is a re­sponse to the pop­u­lar­ity of the Prius and global sales have in­deed ex­ceeded two-mil­lion units. But in Aus­tralia sales have to­talled just 16,000 since in­cep­tion.

Over­all, na­tional pas­sen­ger car sales slipped 4.1 per cent in March on a year-to-date ba­sis and down 6.5 per cent on March 2010.

Other big losers in­cluded the Ford Fal­con, Volvo V70 and S40, Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat, Mazda RX-8 andBMW3 Se­ries – the lat­ter down 31 per cent on the same three-month pe­riod year-on-year.

In re­sponse, BMWhas cut the price of its 3 Se­ries mod­els by up to 11 per cent. The 325i gets the big­gest dis­count, re­duced by $9100 (11 per cent) to $71,900 from $81,000 pre­vi­ously and also of­fers the ‘‘ Ex­clu­sive In­no­va­tions’’ pack which in­cludes up­graded sat-nav.

Cuts: Prius (top) andBMW

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