Vehicle market to remain tough for the foreseeable future, carmakers say
Johannesburg - It's no secret that Covid-19 will have the last say in consumer spending across all platforms and most notably so when it comes to large purchases like vehicles.
Peugeot Citroen South Africa, one of our many vehicle importers, are gearing themselves up for a situation that's likely to be with us for some time still.
"I believe we’ll see some downward buying, with A segment, B Segment, particularly B SUVs becoming more popular," says Brian Smith General Manager Sales and Marketing.
"The market will be tough, due largely to the impact of the pandemic, but there will be opportunities, interest rates are very low at present and consumers can secure a great deal upfront, and keep repayments down.
"Generally, we believe we will see even more of the buying process proceed digitally and remotely, with a large part of the sales process being handled via the internet, email or telephone, we’ll also see an uptake in off-site test drives and deliveries."
The French brand also intends bringing in a 2008 SUV later this year, but at this stage they're playing their cards close to their chests.
What they can say however is that three versions will be available with manual and automatic transmissions connected to turbo-charged petrol engines with high safety standards, LED lighting and a digital cluster and infotainment.
Because of the current currency volatility pricing has not been finalised yet.
Swedish manufacturer Volvo is unlikely to bring any new models to our shores this year but will focus on customer service and ensuring that owners maintain their relationship with the brand.
"Our focus in the short term is to put in place the relevant precautions in our dealerships and to leverage our digital tools, in order to make the customer experience as seamless and contactless as possible, says Charmagne Mavudzi, head of marketing and communication for Volvo Car South Africa.
"The automotive industry will most likely continue to feel the pinch for the rest of 2020. Consumers are spending less and saving more. The natural consequence of this is a slow increase in vehicle sales as the economy opens up again."
Volvo have also introduced a customer programme which provides motorists with payment relief or cash in their pockets.
According to Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director at Volvo Car South Africa, customers can opt for payment relief or cash in their pockets. “In the case of the former, customers will receive up to five months of payment relief. Practically, this means that the customers will receive the exact sum of money that they have spent on instalments. This will be paid directly into their bank accounts,” he said.
With the second option, customers purchasing qualifying vehicles will receive cash up front. “Someone buying an XC40 will receive up to R20 000 in cash. An XC60 buyer will qualify for up to R30 000 in cash. Purchasers of the XC90, S90, or V90CC will get up to R160 000 in cash,” he explains.
The “payment relief” or “cash in your pocket” campaigns runs from 13 May until 30 June 2020.
The programme applies to the following vehicles: the XC40, XC60, XC90, S90 and V90CC.