Bargains can be had as Dodge and Chrysler also close in SA
BUYERS who are in the market for a cheap new car now have two more bargains to choose from.
This after Fiat Chrysler SA has announced that it will no longer sell Dodge or Chrysler vehicles in South Africa, but reassures Jeep and Fiat will continue to be sold locally.
The announcement has been long awaited in the auto trade as demand for the last Chrysler 300C and Dodge Journeys — the models from these brands available in SA — have long been too low to support a dealership.
The Dodge Chrysler dealerships this week said it would continue to support and service current Chrysler and Dodge vehicles through its franchise dealers.
General Motors said the same thing when it announced it will stop selling Chevrolet in South Africa in June.
All this means for the more daring car buyer is huge discounts at both brands.
This is “all stocks must go” time, and the price on the windscreen is not even a guideline.
Dealers know that few people will be willing to risk a fourto seven-year investment in a car that may or may not have good parts support, and will do what it takes to make a sale.
That makes the big Chevrolet Trailblazer sport utility one of the best bargains to be had in South Africa today, while the smaller Spark and attractive Cruze will come with even steeper discounts. The half-ton bakkie that started as an Opel before sporting the Chevrolet bow tie will continue to be built at the Chev plant now under Isuzu. It is not yet known what badge the Opel/Chev will sport on the nose this time round.
See it as brand-new used
Buying a brand new car from an importer that has announced an end to its local business is not as risky as it seems — as long as you do not rely totally on the dealer for services or repairs, and replace the warranty and service plan with a generic, off the shelf service from the Retail Motor Industry (RMI). You know odds are high the importer’s warranty is not going to be of any use to you once the dealer closes, no matter what promises you hear.
The good news is that there are many private mechanics and parts sellers who will be able to sell you an RMI plan, and get whatever you need when it is time to service the vehicle.
Fiat and Alfa expanding
Fiat said this announcement does not affect Fiat, which recently added the Tipo and Panda 4x4 to showroom floors, while the Stelvio SUV from Alfa Romeo is due to arrive before year-end.
FCA South Africa CEO Robin van Rensburg said: “The future for FCA in South Africa is certainly an interesting one, my management team, indeed my entire staff complement, have their work cut out for them and I am confident that we will succeed.”
Van Rensburg said new FCA dealerships are planned for Durban, Pretoria, Midrand and Johannesburg.
Remaining models of the Dodge Journey (above) and Chevrolet Trailblazer (below) can now be had for a lot less than their suggested retail prices of over half a million, if the buyers are willing to treat them as brand new used vehicles with no dealer support.