Vehicle bargains aplenty

Phuti Mpyane

Phuti Mpyane

It finally happened last week: Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni eased the pressure in a boiler that was close to exploding - that is, the automotive retail industry.

Though it must be said that the 100 basis points deficit is somewhat not enough to stimulate mass movement of cars to leave dealer floors, it's nonetheless a gift horse we should not look in the mouth.

This will go some way to preserving jobs and getting some people behind safe, modern wheels. Hurry, though, as car companies are increasing prices to offset the effects of the sales slump.

In the same week that Mboweni told reporters that he'd eaten a plate full of masonja , Mitsubishi announced its cost cutting measures that include pulling out of the Dakar Race.

A hearty congratulations to Renault South Africa, who announced that they had garnered a level 6 contributor status in terms of the Department of Trade and Industry's broad-based black economic empowerment scorecard.

Anyone else planning to match this achievement? Hyundai, Toyota, BMW?

Now, with the news of Mboweni's relief, we experienced some action as plenty of dealers contacted us asking us to furnish you, dear readers, with information of the specials on the many cars looking for new homes.

For now, the "pay your first instalment later" marketing cart is firmly on the path and more of these deals will be offered as the months go by.

I checked with a dealer on the viability of such contracts and he assured me that there are no nasty comebacks and that dealerships generally subsidise payment on the months that customers need not pay their instalments.

This period is a buyer's market, and if you are searching for a car, take your time to search thoroughly as you are bound to come up with some juicy deals, starting with McCarthy Renault Pietermaritzburg where they will send you off in either a Clio 3 1.6 Dynamique 3-door costing R173500 or a Megane hatch 2,0-litre for R210000, and you don't pay for your first four instalments as they are free. This is a record high bid, do I hear five months, or six months, anyone?

Although Mitsubishi internationally is cutting down on costs, a dealer in Midrand says it has cut its costs and will sell you a Mitsubishi Triton 2,5 Di-D 4X4 bakkie for a price that is lower than a Triton 2,5-lite Di-D 4X2 bakkie. Now that's a special!

Kia South Africa also tells me that those looking for a big-size family MPV with an affordable price can go to any Kia Dealer to have a look at the Kia Sedona. Apparently R50000 has been slashed off its initially affordable price.

Lastly, though the idea of buying a roadster in these times is for the truly unaffected. For those who can afford these cars in the luxury segment, Mercedes-Benz dealers will give you additional trade-in support of up to R20000 on either an SLK 200 or 350 if you buy your next car before March 31.