Shop around for parts
ALWYN VILJOEN learns not everyone likes to pay less for their car’s oil filters and brake pads
FOR South Africa’s automotive parts price guru, Porsche this year turned up the biggest surprise among the 11 cars nominated for the 2015 Car of the Year (Coty) title.
Pinetown resident Malcolm Kinsey told Wheels that compared with other premium vehicles in its class, “the Porsche Macan parts are very well-priced”.
The air filter on the Macan is, for example, half the price of that in the Corolla 1,4 D4-D and the big German’s rear brake pads are almost R60 cheaper than that of the Japanese sedan.
Still, said Kinsey, overall, the Corolla’s parts basket is the least expensive of the 11 cars.
“This is because Toyota aims to make all their models affordable throughout their life cycle,” he said, adding that the Prospecton factory works hard to make all the vehicle components — from the typical wear-and-tear parts to panel-beater parts — affordable for the average South African.
Kinsey revealed that perception plays a strange part in parts pricing.
“Cheap does not always make clients happy. Some people actually want to pay more for the same make of parts if it is fitted to more expensive cars,” he said.
Kinsey is still the only man to have towed a four-berth caravan up Sani Pass in a 3,0-litre Ford Saphire auto and he holds several fuel-consumption records in various sizes of car.
Asked if the perception that French cars have expensive parts is still valid, Kinsey said this idea is long outdated.
He pointed out that the parts basket of the Citroën C4 Picasso e-HDi 115 Intensive on the Coty shortlist is just over R21 k more than that of the Corolla. He said that in the past few years, the local French representatives have done a huge amount of work to reduce their parts prices in every way possible.
“They, for example, now ship smaller parts in the same box as what a bumper gets packed in. This has reduced their number of shipping items by about 25%, which correspondingly has reduced their freight costs and of course, some of their parts prices by about the same margin.”
He said the real price shock for most people lurks in the panelbeating lists. Replacing a hail-damaged bonnet can range from R2 301,72 on the Corolla to R20 234,87 for the BMW M4 Coupé.
Replacing a hail-damaged front windscreen will cost the least in a Renault Duster (R2 679,89) and about R10 500 in both the Subaru WRX and Honda Accord 3,5 V6 Exclusive.
As always, Kinsey warns buyers that his price lists are averages and he urges all car owners to shop around when they service or panel-beat a car. “The manufacturers cannot enforce their recommended prices. We have, for example, found the same parts in Durban are up to 10% more expensive than in Johannesburg or Cape Town,” said Kinsey. • More on www.kinseyreport.co.za
Maria Sharapova helped launched the Porsche Macan, which has surprised SA’s parts price guru Malcolm Kinsey (left inset) with its well-priced parts among the 11 Coty finalists.