HY­BRIDS HURT AT RE­SALE TIME

Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - WITH JOSHUA DOWL­ING AND PAUL GOVER Twit­ter @PaulWardGover

GO­ING green is not pay­ing off in Aus­tralia. The first to buy hy­brids and elec­tric cars are now suf­fer­ing on the sec­ond­hand scene.

Even with hy­brid taxis flood­ing roads and pro­vid­ing a con­sid­er­able pay-off for the cab­bies who run a Camry or Prius in the city, pri­vate buy­ers are yet to get a re­turn on their ini­tial spend­ing.

It’s par­tic­u­larly true of the early Toy­ota and Honda hy­brids, as well as the hand­ful of elec­tric cars that have made it onto Aus­tralian roads.

“First-gen­er­a­tion hy­brid cars, in­clud­ing the Toy­ota Prius and Honda Insight, failed to at­tract de­mand as used cars due to the per­cep­tion that the bat­ter­ies would fail and be ex­pen­sive to re­place,” says Santo Amod­dio, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Glass’s Guide used-car pric­ing guide.

“Other ex­am­ples in­clude elec­tric cars. The Nis­san Leaf had three sig­nif­i­cant price re­duc­tions, from $51,000 to $46,00 and then $40,000, all in the space of just over a year.” Green cars are not alone. “New-car price roll­backs are not good for ex­ist­ing own­ers of the model,” says Amod­dio. “The best ex­am­ples we can give are where the im­porter sig­nif­i­cantly drops a new-car price, like the Chrysler 300C. The price was cut from $60,000 to $45,000 and this has a rel­a­tively and im­me­di­ate detri­men­tal im­pact on all used mod­els in the range.”

He also warns own­ers of any­thing from the Volk­swa­gen Group — Audi, Skoda, Porsche and Volk­swa­gen — fol­low­ing the cur­rent tur­moil over emis­sions cheating and faulty re­port­ing of fuel-econ­omy and CO2 num­bers.

“Any ve­hi­cle of a sig­nif­i­cant prod­uct re­call will be hurt. Re­cent ex­am­ples in­clude Great Wall with its as­bestos prob­lems as well as VW’s diesel af­fected mod­els.

“This all de­pends on how VW plans to re­spond to the prob­lem and the ex­tent of the rec­ti­fi­ca­tion re­quired. At the mo­ment, the un­cer­tainty in the mar­ket has cre­ated doubt in the minds of used-car buy­ers and we ex­pect that re­sale val­ues will re­flect this over time.”

Toy­ota Camry hy­brid

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