Rivals won’t match $10K car

Australian car buyers shouldn’t expect a discount war at the bottom end of the market despite Chinese brand Chery cutting the price of its J1 city car to just $9990 drive-away.


The move from the Chinese brand is seen as a desperate attempt to gain some traction in one of the toughest segments of the new-car market, and its rivals say they won’t go down the ultra-low cost path.

Suzuki’s Alto is the next-nearest competitor, priced at $11,990 drive-away for the base model GL variant. And Suzuki Australia spokesman Andrew Ellis told Drive the Indian-made runabout won’t have its price slashed to compete with the Chinese Chery. http://news.drive杭州夜网m.au/drive/competitor-summary/suzuki-alto-gl-20110121-19yz4.html

“What Chery does with its prices is their own business,” says Ellis. “The Alto will remain priced at $11,990 drive-away for the GL base model,” he says, suggesting the extra standard safety equipment shows that buyers are focused on value, not just price.

The sales figures show it, too. Chery sold just 378 examples of the J1 model, which has only dual front airbags and anti-lock brakes. The Alto, which has six airbags (dual front, front-side and full-length curtain) and potentially life-saving stability control as standard – albeit with a four-star ANCAP rating – managed more than 10 times that amount, with 3998 sales over the past 12 months.

Mitsubishi’s new Mirage is about to be launched locally with promotional pricing starting at $12,990 drive-away. http://news.drive杭州夜网m.au/drive/motor-news/model-watch-mitsubishi-mirage-20121231-2c2c9.html

But company spokeswoman Caitlin Beale says the price isn’t going any further south “at this stage”.

“We believe that $12,990 drive-away for the new Mirage is a great value proposition,” she says. “It’s been engineered to offer five-star safety, although it hasn’t yet been crash tested.”

Beale says the bottom line doesn’t always win out when it comes to new-car sales.

“It’s about fuel efficiency as well as the whole package. The car you buy in this segment has to offer you the versatility and the lifestyle it can give you,” she says. “If people are buying these cars for their kids, I’m fairly sure they will want a car that’s safe.”

Holden’s Barina Spark model is also priced sharply, with the five-door currently on sale at $13,990 drive-away. But Holden’s director of external communications, Craig Cheetham, told Drive he doesn’t see the Chery as a real rival to the Spark. http://news.drive杭州夜网m.au/drive/motor-news/first-drive-holden-barina-spark-20121130-2akip.html

“The Chery is very specifically what it is,” Cheetham says. “We don’t believe the Barina Spark is necessarily a rival to it.”

Nissan’s Micra has been hot property in the city car market in the past 12 months, but the Japanese brand’s Indonesian-built urban runner isn’t going to be discounted to fight for more market share. http://news.drive杭州夜网m.au/drive/new-car-comparison/city-lights-suzuki-alto-v-holden-barina-spark-v-nissan-micra-20110121-19yqg.html

Nissan Australia spokesman Peter Fadeyev says the Micra will see some changes soon, but they won’t include a drastic cut to the price.

A few years back, Proton was the brand with the cheapest sedan on the market. The Malaysian maker’s S16 model was a budget special, but since then the brand has moved to offer more equipment, including increased safety gear. http://news.drive杭州夜网m.au/drive/new-car-reviews/proton-s16-20100319-14tcj.html

Proton Australia spokesman Billy Falconer told Drive the company was moving away from dirt cheap deals. The S16 sedan was recently updated to include a swag of safety gear, including reversing sensors and stability control, but it still only has dual front airbags. http://news.drive杭州夜网m.au/drive/motor-news/cheap-as–20100401-rhnl.html

“We’ve got our S16 FLX at $13,990 drive-away, and we’re not looking at doing anything with that,” he says. “We’re trying to move away from price-focused selling. Proton has launched what it calls ‘five-star service’ which includes five years of free servicing, five years warranty and five years roadside assistance.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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