BUYERS CAN CASH IN
ONSUMERS are the big winners of lower import tariffs and 2010 model upgrades. As importers rush to slashed prices and pass on the 5 per cent import tariff drop others are putting more equipment into their cars.
Buyers can save as little as a few hundred dollars on a popular hatch or as much as $5500 on some four-wheel-drives because of the tariff drop.
Leather, electronic stability control and curtain airbags — previously options on many cars — are now becoming more widespread.
Suzuki is leading the way with a new price benchmark for its Alto and Swift.
The Alto now breaks the $12,000 price barrier with the GL manual now $11,790, a $700 reduction.
But for this month it is available for $12,490 driveaway.
The GLX is $12,490, $2000 less than when it first went on sale last year.
It is available for $12,990 driveaway and comes with anti-skid brakes, electronic stability control, six airbags and alloys and driving lights.
C‘‘Let’s see the Koreans match that,’’ Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers said. The entry Swift now starts at $16,290, $500 less than it was last year. A Swift automatic is $17,990.
Joining Suzuki are Peugeot and Chrysler while Subaru has opted for a driveaway price for its Impreza R sedan.
Before the recent limited driveaway offer, the Impreza R’s price varied between $26,400 and $27,164 nationally. The new price is $24,990. Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said the company was applying the Federal Government’s duty reduction in two ways.
‘‘Via increased equipment and specification levels on our newest models, including Liberty and Outback, and through tactical driveaway pricing programs, such as with Impreza R,’’ he said.
Nissan has boosted equipment on its X-Trail models for a modest lift in prices.
Honda has already passed on tariff cuts of between $1500 and $3000 on its Japanese and UK imports.
But it has also now upgraded its Thai-built Civic range.
Curtain airbags are standard on the VTi sedan while the VTi-L gets 10-spoke 16-inch alloys.
The Civic 1.8 VTi now starts at $22,900, rising to $34,490 for the Hybrid.
Chrysler has clipped Dodge Journey and Jeep Cherokee Limited prices.
The Journey SXT is $36,990, a saving of $1000 while the R/T models are $3500 cheaper.
The Jeep Cherokee is $37,990 for the 3.7-litre V6, a saving of $2500 while the 2.8-litre turbodiesel is $44,990, a saving of $5500.
Peugeot Automobiles Australia cut prices by up to $2200 to coincide with the addition of electronic stability control as standard on all its passenger vehicles.
Even the new 4007 four-wheel-drive has benefited.
It now starts from $44,990, a saving of $1000 for the ST 2.2-litre HDi manual.
Peugeot light commercials have also been reduced between $600 and $2600.
LEFT: Subaru has opted for a driveaway price for its Impreza R sedan