Falling New Car Discounts Expected

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Falling New Car Discounts Expected
Falling New Car Discounts Expected

Video: Falling New Car Discounts Expected

Video: Falling New Car Discounts Expected
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The discount war is over: With the economic upturn, the economic pressure on car dealers is easing. Market observers therefore expect a move away from high price discounts. But there is still potential for savings when changing models or importing vehicles.

By Roland Koch

When it comes to the price, the little one comes out big: The Fiat Panda is currently being seen at a discount of up to 38.8 percent. For a Golf GTI, the discount is up to 17.4 percent. And for the Nissan Qashqai, 22.5 percent could be knocked out in February at the Internet broker meinauto.de. Car buyers don't have to be savvy bargain hunters to negotiate a huge discount when buying a new car - not yet.

Trend towards low discounts

Because with the economic upturn, that could soon change noticeably. For 2011, market observers in the auto trade see a clear departure from the sometimes spectacular bait offers of the past months. If you want to push the price down hard, you will have to look for longer this year.

"The German car manufacturers started the year 2011 very dynamically," says the President of the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), Matthias Wissmann. The increasingly good economic situation is changing the situation for retailers noticeably - discounts at the previous year's level are therefore no longer to be expected. Auto expert Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer shares this assessment: "The trend towards lower discounts will continue." The manufacturers had already reduced their discount level noticeably in January.

Difficult year for bargain hunters

This is shown by the current price study by the Center Automotive Research (CAR) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, which Dudenhöffer is head of. The average discount at four large Internet brokers was 14.6 percent in January. A year earlier it was 16.4 percent. Of the total of 273 promotional programs offered by manufacturers, 27 offered a price advantage of more than 20 percent at the start of the year. A month earlier there were 40 actions.

And something else makes it difficult for bargain hunters. This year the IAA for Cars will take place again in September after a two-year break; therefore, numerous new models are coming onto the market. “Their modern, fuel-saving technology is extremely interesting for buyers,” says Wissmann. "In order to sell them, the dealers will probably not have to resort to extraordinary marketing measures." Increasing delivery times and low inventories have already shown that the demand for new vehicles is picking up.

Opportunities with previous models

However, retailers will not do without the price reductions completely this year either. "There is no such thing as a car market without discounts," says Dudenhöffer. And so the imminent model change would also offer price-conscious buyers opportunities for inexpensive new cars: with the previous models. The dealers need the space in their warehouses for the next generation of cars.

Dudenhöffer sees the best opportunities for discounts with imported brands. With the scrapping bonus in 2009, German car buyers would have bought mostly cheap new small and compact cars. This market is now largely saturated. Classic manufacturers of these cars - such as Fiat, Seat, Renault, Peugeot or Citroën - would now have a harder time selling their models. Further discount campaigns are therefore likely.

Equipment extras instead of cash

At the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK) in Bad Homburg, however, a decline in the discount level for imported brands is expected. Spokesman Thomas Böhm says: “The market share of international motor vehicle manufacturers in 2010 was at a very high level. And we are still seeing strong demand for smaller models too. But there will also be discounts this year and from almost all manufacturers.

Except for model changes, there are always occasions for special campaigns - for example company anniversaries, says Böhm. In addition to the special offers, discounts are still common on daily registrations or demonstration vehicles - a savings option in all model classes. But it is not uncommon for the buyer not to save money, but only receive so-called price advantages. According to Dudenhöffer, these can make up 20 to 30 percent difference to the list price for sports cars and luxury-class cars. Then the wallet is not spared - but there are extra equipment details, such as a sound system or particularly stylish alloy wheels. (dpa)