The rand is strong and interest rates low, yet new car prices stay the same – but not for long. In the January edition of CAR, we predict that cars now priced under R120 000 could cost less in 2004.

The rand is strong and interest rates low, yet new car prices stay the same – but not for long. In the January edition of CAR, we predict that cars now priced under R120 000 could cost less in 2004.


Key players in the motor industry believe that there will be almost unprecedented competition - and in some instances even a drop in price - at the lower end of the new vehicle market. The expected price war in the budget car sector could precipitate a boom in car sales and bring much-needed relief to car buyers.


New vehicles in the budget range are to be priced at very competitive levels while well-known models, which are price sensitive in their established markets, could be de-specced to justify a decrease in price," CAR editor John Wright said this week.


Coming vehicles in the sub-R120 000 bracket, such as the Kia Picanto, Nissan Micra and Citroën C2, as well as the de-specced Fiat Palio Go!, the Renault Clio and the revamped VW Citi Golf, will appeal to buyers looking for an affordable new vehicle.


“Where car prices hold their current levels, buyers will benefit from lower interest rates and better value in the form of service and maintenance plans where none was available.


“The move is good for the motor industry and good for the public in the long term, bringing used car prices down and putting them in reach of the man in the street,” Wright added.


According to the , Naamsa did not comment on possible price reductions, but the association’s director Nico Vermeulen did say “the local industry is one of the most, if not the most competitive in the world. Anything is possible and I cannot rule out price reductions”.