IT’S going to be a happy start to the new year for anyone in the market for a new car.
Some showrooms around the country will be full of “demonstrator” models that were “sold” in December but are still without buyers.
Confused? You can thank the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. The FCAI has long turned a blind eye to what the Americans like to call “channel stuffing”, a practice by which companies inflate their sales figures by pushing more stock into their distribution network than the network can sell that month.
The cars then appear the next month as “demonstrators”. Senior industry figures predicted the practice would result in a big December. They weren’t disappointed. The Toyota Camry was the No.1 selling car in the country last month, with 5320 sales, more than double the 2000 it averaged in the first 11 months.
Holden, which was engaged in a close battle with Hyundai for third place on the sales charts, also had a big month, with sales up 18 per cent. In the previous 11 months sales were down 5 per cent.
Meanwhile, other brands that had grown strongly all year went backwards.
Toyota sales and marketing boss Tony Cramb says several Camry demonstrators had been registered by dealers in December and would be sold in the first quarter of 2016.
“Dealers and consumers like to buy demonstrator vehicles,” he says.
But he categorically denies this amounts to pushing cars on to dealers.
“We didn’t stuff vehicles into our dealers, that’s for sure. I will clarify that. There is no way we would do that,” he says.
The FCAI sees no problem with counting demonstrators as it says ultimately all the cars will be sold, even if it makes life tough for some dealers.
For the crafty buyer, though, it presents a great opportunity to crunch a deal on a demonstrator with low or no kilometres that’s burning a hole in a dealer principal’s pocket.
Toyottaa Caamrry:: Deccemberr ssaalless off 5000--plluss