Is resale value important to you?
Well, if resale value isn’t important, then
you’ve got a lot more money than me, gentle reader. In fact, by
carefully looking at resale (often called ‘residual’) value, you
can actually make some money when it is time to change vehicles. This
is particularly so if you lease a vehicle.
However, taking the case of a vehicle on simple
drip-feed, if at the end of your three year time payment plan the car
is almost worthless, then you do not have a large deposit (or trade-in
value) towards the next car, but if the residual value is high, then
you have a sizable deposit, or trade-in, towards the new car which
will either reduce your monthly repays, or if you want to keep the
same repayment amount, it will allow you to move into a more expensive
vehicle for the same monthly outgoings.
Sounds good? It should, because all this is very
possible, but you have to be able to know what the residual value is
going to be. This is usually expressed as a percentage of the original
(new) price. After three years you should be able to get around 60
percent of the original price - if you have bought wisely!
Now there are tables that will show you how much
you can expect for different cars and different mileages
(kilometerages?). In the UK these tables are in a publication called
Glass’ Guides. In Thailand there is a similar publication put out by
Automotive Data Services (Thailand), otherwise known as The Red Book,
and you should try and get hold of one. The data is amazing.
For example, which passenger car held its resale
best? There is one that was still worth 72 percent of its original
price after three years! Unfortunately, that car was a Ferrari F360
Modena, just slightly out of the average guy’s price range having
cost 18.2 million baht, but the Honda Civic EK four door, originally
costing B. 677,000 three years ago is still worth 67 percent of the
original price today. That is worth real money!
In the passenger car field, the worst cars to have
bought (as far as resale is concerned) according to the Red Book, were
the SAAB 9-3 which ended up at 20 percent of the original (ouch), or
the Audi A8 at 28 percent (ouch again), or the Volvo V40 wagon at 41
Looking at the most popular section in Thailand -
pick-ups, then the best after three years were the Toyota Hilux at 68
percent, followed by the Nissan Frontier (63 percent), Isuzu D-Max (62
percent) and the Ford Ranger at 60 percent. Worst was the Mitsubishi
Strada 4 door Grandis at 53 percent, but that is not too bad compared
to the poor resale performers in the passenger car field.
And do you want to know the best vehicle to have
bought three years ago? It was the Toyota Commuter bus, 3 door manual
which had a new price of B. 964,000 and is still worth today 76
percent of that amount (that’s B. 732,640, so you can put the
So if saving money is your aim, I’ll see you in
your Toyota commuter bus next week!
New cars on the way
One of the biggest news items in the automotive
world involves Germany and Malaysia, where VW and Proton have formed
an association so that Malaysia’s number 1 car maker will assemble
VW’s to be exported to ASEAN.
VW say that they expect to generate more than
15,000 sales in the region in 2006, after the first VW’s come off
the Proton assembly lines at the end of 2005.
Another company that is looking to market new cars
here is Suzuki. Currently the Japanese manufacturer only produces the
Caribean ‘jeepette’ here and imports the Vitara assembled in
Indonesia. The word is that Suzuki want to build a small hatch-back
here, which may be powered by a 1.3 litre diesel engine. In keeping
with the concept of petrol misers, there is also talk of bringing in
the Indian assembled 800 cc Suzuki Alto, to be part of the Thailand
government sponsored ‘Eco Car’ movement. In 2006, the Vitara
replacement will be on sale, but this vehicle will continue to be
built in Indonesia.
Mazda will continue to bring in the Mazda3
(reviewed a couple of weeks back - a great car), which is manufactured
in the Philippines, and the Ford Focus, which is also made in the same
plant, will be imported. The Focus uses the same platform as the
Mazda3, so should have similar dynamics. Mazda Sales Thailand are
predicting sales of 10,000 Mazda3’s in Thailand in 2005.
BMW will also be trying to expand its market penetration with the
new 1 series, which may be assembled in Malaysia if there is enough
demand. With the 120i on sale here at 2.8 million baht, I cannot see
there being a strong order book from Thailand, considering that you
can buy a 323 for about 2.5 million baht.
Does a 10 year warranty excite you?
Well, Mitsubishi Australia certainly hopes so, offering a 10
year warranty program to try and stop the dwindling sales of Mitsubishi
Following the catastrophic fallout from a botched warranty
recall in Japan, plus some admitted cover-ups that ended up with some top level
corporate hara-kiri, Mitsu saw its world-wide sales plunge steadily. I am also
sure that the clumsy corporate Mitsubishi ‘nose’ is even more unpopular than
BMW’s Bangle bottom, and will also have produced buyer resistance. Some rather
outdated models in the range has not helped either - it really is time for a
Lancer replacement before they bring out an Evo 23!
So in the face of buyer resistance, Mitsubishi Australia look
like they might have found a rabbit to pull out of the hat. 10 year warranties!
Mitsubishi Australia president Tom Phillips has come out
fighting with the new 10-year warranty campaign. “Not enough people are
considering Mitsubishi, they don’t have confidence that we will be staying
around in Australia to support their new car purchase,” said our Tom.
So to counteract that, they have come out with what they have
called the Best Built, Best Backed warranty campaign, based on a five
year/130,000km ‘bumper to bumper’ warranty on all Mitsubishi cars sold from
now on, which is even transferable if the car is sold. A further five
year/30,000km drive-train warranty is available, but only if the car is still
held by the original owner.
This is actually some very smart corporate thinking by Mitsu
Oz. Since most people only hang on to a car for three to four years, it means
that the warranty will in most cases only be for the first five years, as the
cars will be on their second or third owners by then (and no warranty for the
second five years).
Mitsubishi have put aside AUD 9 million for a saturation advertising
campaign, and if you think that is big bucks, it isn’t really. Mitsu sold
about 61,000 cars this year in Oz, so even if they just hold station, that is
only equivalent to less than AUD 150 per car.
Last week, I mentioned that a heavy industry company began
making Model-A passenger vehicles in 1917. The company is still in business
today. It is not Ford Motor Company. I asked who is it? The answer was
So to this week. Amphibian cars have been produced for many
decades. Some with greater success than others. Two that I know of were built by
the same pair of optimistic enthusiasts in Cuba. The first was a 1951 flat-bed
Chev truck with 55 gallon drums lashed to the sides to keep the truck above
water. They floated this one to America, but were intercepted by the US
coastguards, who had real boats! The aptly named ‘Cuba 1’ was shot and sunk
by the Americans and the Cubans sent back to where they came from. I did say
that they were nothing short of optimistic - they immediately began to build
‘Cuba 2’. This was based on a 1959 Buick and they packed 11 people into it
and set sail for the USA. Once again they were intercepted by the coastguards
and Cuba 2 was also sunk! So what I want to know this week is nothing to do with
Marcel Basante and Luis Gras, the enterprising Cubans, but when was the first
amphibian vehicle built?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct
answer to email [email protected]
Pencils out - here’s the 2005 Formula 1
The FIA have now released the calendar for next year, and it
is a bumper year for Eff Wun buffs. 19 races in all, with the British GP and the
French GP’s both on (after certain financial arrangements were made with a
certain Mr. Ecclestone), if one believes everything one reads.
Here is the 2005 F1 Calendar
06 Mar: Australia Albert Park Melbourne
20 Mar: Malaysia Sepang
03 Apr: Bahrain Sakhir
24 Apr: San Marino Imola
08 May: Spain Barcelona
22 May: Monaco Monte Carlo
29 May: Europe Nurburgring
12 June: Canada Montreal
19 June: United States Indianapolis
03 July: France Magny-Cours
10 July: Great Britain Silverstone
24 July: Germany Hockenheim
31 July: Hungary Hungaroring
21 Aug: Turkey Istanbul
04 Sept: Italy Monza
11 Sept: Belgium Spa
25 Sept: Brazil Interlagos
09 Oct: Japan Suzuka
16 Oct: China Shanghai
The British GP has been moved from the original date so that
it does not clash with the Wimbledon tennis, which is obviously a television
reason, as I do not know many F1 fans that are such strong tennis enthusiasts
that they would sit there all day watching the grunt-thump of championship
The newest GP is Turkey (Istanbul not Constantinople) as
Bernie pushes onwards towards the countries that will still allow cigarette
The best news is that Spa is still on the calendar. This is
one of the best circuits in the world and the one that separates the real
drivers from the ‘bought my’ drivers.
The bad news is that Monaco and Hungary are still on the
calendar. Both of these venues can almost give gold plated guarantees that the
race will be a procession. They go on about how important Monaco is to the
history of F1 racing, but they were ready to give Silverstone the old heave-ho,
the circuit that hosted the very first F1 Grand Prix in world history. What sort
of dummies do they think we are? (Don’t answer that!)