Cars

Published on August 3rd, 2019 | by Daniel

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Will a cheaper car mean a worse car?

Most of you reading this will remember sitting in your dad or mum’s car when you were a child without a child seat and most probably without a seatbelt also. 25 to 35 years later and the situation is somewhat different.

Today we need a child seat for each child under 6 years of age and so the invention of the Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) to accommodate this need came about. Why? Because the average sedan will not accommodate 2 adults, 2 kids and the maid or in-law or visiting aunt. With two child seats in the rear the centre space is barely enough for an anorexic teenager.

Just like the MPV, car manufacturers have sat down with safety lobbyists to increase the safety levels of vehicles by adding in more devices and technology thus increasing the cost of production, which is then added to the selling price.

It does not stop here. Car manufacturers have also started increasing features and extras that load up on the vehicle price and with this the selling prices have been going upwards with every new model even with globalization of parts and more efficient costing to reduce prices.

How is it that the price of electrical appliances, hand phones and cameras get cheaper but cars get more expensive every time? 

Let us look at what car companies have piled into their products for consumers to purchase whether they want it or not. Some of you might remember the early 1990’s when local car distributors used to include up to RM12,000 worth of aftermarket accessories to some very popular models and buyers had no choice but to except these items or face year long waits for their cars. These accessories could be purchase outside for less than half their claimed values and most were useless items.

We are talking about bumper mounted parking poles, in-car air ionizers, seat massagers, alloy wheels, fancy car mats, knitted seat covers, boot bags/organisers, sun visors, chrome door lock pins, in-car compass, tissue box holder, fog lamps, rubber door guards and chrome exhaust rear end to name just a few.

Over the years car buyers have increasingly rejected these accessories and the government has also steeped in to reduce the number of accessories to bring car prices down.

 

Car manufacturers have instead sought new methods to load up the pricing of cars and so after so many years the price of a mass manufactured sub-compact car is still rather high.  Even worse, executive sedans have almost doubled in price in the past 20 years even with sales numbers taking in 10 folds more.

We look towards a change in the automotive market in the coming years when consumers have more choice and the choice to say NO to some items and features. Think about it…….do you need a smart phone with 4 cameras? You only need 1 camera or 2 at the most. Right?

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