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Clearance Sale Used Car

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By Natasha Joseph

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AutoTerminal.com Africa - premier distributor of new and used quality RHD and LHD vehicles from Japan, USA and Thailand

The soaring inflation rate and high petrol costs may have put the brakes on the market for new cars, but the prices of used cars have been “driven down quite significantly”, says the Retail Motor Industry (RMI).

People looking to purchase used cars are entering “a buyers’ market”, says RMI CEO Jeff Osborne.

“There’s a huge value in used cars; there’s never been a better time to buy,” said Osborne. “There’s a surplus (of used cars) that dealers need to sell.”

He said there was a great deal of “consumer choice” when it came to the variety of cars available on the second-hand market, and that prospective used car buyers were in a good position to negotiate with dealers for lower prices.

Pierre Carstens, manager of Auto-Pedigree in Bellville, said that because the dealership specialised in one- or two-year-old cars, it was “doing fine”.

“Our prices are lower than new cars, and people are going for something close to new,” Carstens said.

Heinie Brink, a salesperson with Burchmore’s Car Auctions in Milnerton, said the company had seen “an increase in vehicles coming through for auctions”.

“There are more people on the floor (at auctions) looking for bargains, using the repossession market,” Brink said.

Osborne said that although banks had been repossessing up to 6 000 cars a month over the past nine months, this number seemed to be “stabilising” as more people entered into restructured payment plans with their banks before being threatened with repossession.

Absa’s managing executive of vehicle and asset finance, Marcel de Klerk, said the company had repossessed 1 360 vehicles in August, and had repossessed, on average, between 1 300 and 1 400 vehicles each month this year.

A number of these vehicles were “high ticket cars”, indicating that their owners fell into a high income bracket. This indicated that not only South Africa’s “middle market” was hard hit by the rising cost of living, he said.

However, De Klerk said, there had been “a definite stabilisation” in the number of people falling into arrears with their car payments since April, and this trend had been consistent up to August.

“I firmly believe (repossessions) will start to decline by the end of the year,” he said.

He said Absa was restructuring clients’ accounts and only granting vehicle finance to people “if they can afford it”.

“The last thing we want to do is repossess. The bank and the client lose money. The motor industry will remain under pressure. I don’t see an increase in sales until 2010.”

Osborne said that even the new car market appeared to be stabilising. It was 20 percent down from the same period last year, but this seemed to be “levelling off”, he said.

“We sincerely hope it won’t drop more, and we’re not expecting a recovery (of sales) inside of a year.”

natasha.joseph@inl.co.za

Source: http://www.iol.co.za

This article was originally published
on page 6 of Cape Times on September 02, 2008

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Which is a better way to ship your used car?

Is it always “pay low with RORO” and “ship faster with container?”  The most straightforward answer is – no.  Shipping by RORO is not always cheaper and shipping by container is not always faster, although they often are.  If that didn’t sound confusing at all, then here is the real score.

RORO row your boat

The RORO offers many advantages.  If you look at the process of loading and unloading the vehicles, the RORO method makes a lot of sense.  The vehicle is simply driven on and off the vessel.  Hence, roll on/roll off, RORO.  Indeed it is faster compared to containers in terms of loading and unloading time.

But what really matters is lead shipping time, the waiting period between paying for the vehicle and receiving it in your home port.  This is when the quirks of vessel availability, shipping schedules and shipping routes come into play. Unfortunately, there are not many RORO vessels plying long distance routes and their service frequency is way lesser than container ships.  Booking a space in a RORO vessel can be a very daunting task.

So, is RORO really cheaper?  Most of the time, yes.  RORO rates are fixed based on the vehicle’s size.  If you compare shipping, say a sedan in RORO and a sedan in a 20-foot container then RORO will come out cheaper.  But if you ship 3 or 4 vehicles together in a 40-foot container, the cost will be much lesser.  It is a very common practice for different customers with the same destination ports to share a container.

Thinking inside the box

Why do importer-dealers prefer shipping their inventories via containers?  Is it because they can receive their vehicles sooner or because they get to pay less by shipping 3 or 4 units in a 40-foot container?  The answer is yes and yes on both counts plus more.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of shipping your vehicle in a container is security as it ensures that your vehicle would not be dented and scratched during loading and unloading or knocked about during the sea voyage.  At the same time, sealed containers eliminate the risk of having your car stereo and other accessories stolen.  If you plan to ship spare parts with your vehicle, the only good option is by containers.

The wrap

The better way to ship your vehicle depends on several factors.  If you can book a space on a RORO; if you can find a vessel which can bring your vehicle from the port of origin all the way to your preferred final destination port; if you can’t share container space with other customers; if you can afford the risk of minor scratches and dents; and if your vehicle does not have a stereo or easily detachable accessories – use a RORO vessel.

Otherwise, use a container.

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