Nada chairman Ray Nethercott and BMW managing director Ian Robertson would like to see other forms of ownership and financing in an effort to make vehicles more affordable. There are fears that the average consumer will not be able to afford a new car.

National Automobile Dealers Association (Nada) chairman Ray Nethercott and BMW managing director Ian Robertson would like to see other forms of ownership and financing in an effort to make vehicles more affordable.

Both were speaking at National Automobile Dealers Association conference at Sun City this week. According to , Robertson questioned whether it was in the best interests of South Africans to own their vehicles. He suggested leasing as an option and pointed out that 80 per cent of North American businesses did not own their own vehicles.

According to , concerns were raised at the conference that the motor manufacturers were taking an “excess premium” through price hikes when the rand depreciated.

Nethercott gave an example of 13 vehicles with a high import content, which had increased in price by about 56 per cent between January 1999 and January 2003. But he said the average effect on the SA motor industry of the rand against the dollar in the same period was 41 per cent. With a five per cent benefit from the Motor Industry Development Programme, this reduced the pricing factor average to 36 per cent.

“This pricing factor is skewed in favour of the car manufacturers. It is also significantly above the local inflation rate for the four-year period, so here is another excuse that cannot be used by the motor manufacturers,” he said.

Nethercott said there was an “excess premium” between the “realistic” price of a vehicle and the actual price. The newspaper quoted Nethercott as saying there was a 24 per cent or R13 154 difference in the price of the Mazda 323 Sting and a difference of 16 per cent or R30 144 on a BMW 318i.

Nethercott said vehicle prices could remain constant as long as the rand remained below R10 to the dollar. ‘We should protest vigourously against a five to eight per cent increase. The average man in the street is definitely moved, slowly but surely, out of owning a new car,” he said.

Original article from Car