Opel is launching its new Corsa into the compact car sector later this year.
Opel is launching its new Corsa into the compact car sector later this year.

Car consumers more confident, but keen to buy down

By Willem van de Putte Time of article published May 26, 2020

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Johannesburg - The motor industry, like many major businesses in South Africa has taken a massive hit as a result of the restrictions placed under the Covid-19 regulations.

Yet, despite the difficult circumstances they find themselves in, business has to continue and though new model launches could be delayed as a result of production issues globally, South Africa will still see a number of new models enter the market this year.

At Opel, the arrival of the Astra – with its adjusted styling is still on the way as is the Zafira Life Plus and the Vivaro Cargo panel van, scheduled for Q3. Both are fitted with the same 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine to extend the Opel range into greater seater and larger transporter segments.

There’s also the new-generation Corsa in the pipeline to improve the offering in the B segment category.

"Covid-19 has guided us to adapt accordingly as far as timing goes. Models launching into the market through our Dealership network will be communicated in due time," says Lise Holloway, public relations and dealer support manager for Opel.

With some of the restrictions having been lifted, Opel says they have seen some increase in buyer confidence.

Facelifted Opel Astra is also on course for SA.

"With the move into Level 4 and the automotive trading directives having being adjusted, we’re starting to see buyer confidence increasing through our digital platforms and Dealership network availability," says Holloway.

As an importer Opel, like many others, has had to contend with the global financial implications that the virus has brought about.

"As an importer, we’re working towards stabilising our product shipments and prices, accordingly."

Consumers want to buy down

Suzuki falls into the same category and according to Toni Herbst, media liaison officer for Suzuki, they are seeing a shift towards rationalisation by consumers.

"Due to the financial pressure consumers are expected to experience in coming months, we anticipate that there will be quite a bit of rationalisation.  We can already see that there is a lot more activity in the lower end of the market and dealers are interacting with many customers that are considering downsizing."

The popular brand is also looking at bringing in a new compact SUV either in Q4 or Q1 next year, but that's all they are saying about it for now.

"We are strengthening our lifestyle and compact SUV product offering; with the recent launch of our S-Presso 'micro-SUV', as well as the imminent facelift of our popular Suzuki Ignis and the prospect of a new compact SUV in either the last quarter of 2020 or beginning of 2021."


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