Opinion Pieces, Others

Trav-esty: End-of-year/life cars


The recent wheel purchase for the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, on the outgoing W221 Mercedes S300 for RM298, 263.75 has caused an outburst among many Malaysian. The Chief Minister (CM) defended that the price of the S300 was right as the car was given a good RM100K discount, and unlike normal new cars on the road, this one has been exempted from tax. The original price of the car was RM657,218, so in actual fact, the car was entitled to a whopping 54% discount.

Looking at the bigger picture, the S300 of PG1 is actually an end-of-year car. Over the years, one of the best ways to get the best deals for new cars is to wait until the final quarter of a year, when car marques scramble to clear their inventories before the New Year arrives. That leads to massive promotions and discounts given, ranging from cash rebates, low-interest rate, free servicing, and freebies to attract buyers. For new car buyers, there are pros and cons on this. While buyers were treated with cash savings though these rebates and discount, they might be at a disadvantage when it comes to selling their car. This happens when a buyer who bought the car which was manufactured in 2013 but took deliver on Jan 2014, the car’s value refers to the vehicle’s manufactured year. This may affect the residual values when the owner decides to sell the car, but that won’t be an issue if the buyer intends to keep the car for long.

Just a month ago, Ford, BMW, Chevrolet and so on, graced into AF’s promotion pages on the great end of year sales. Proton meanwhile, made it big via the two-day only event “Bola! Bola! Bola! Mega Test Drive Carnival” where many Proton models from 2012 were selling like those pesky yellow minion toys at McDonalds. Forumers from LY.NET’s Fast and Furious have reported that units of Proton Inspira and Preve from 2012 stockpile were snapped before the start of the second day on the “Bola-bola Carnival” event. That easily proves that Malaysians in general love bargains for end of year cars.

Another trend that caught Malaysian car buyers is “end-of-life” cars, where prior a new replacement model is launched to the public, manufacturers rushed to clear the inventories of the outgoing model. In this practice car dealer will lure buyers with massive discounts and attractive rebates to make way for new models to come into showrooms. Case in point, in 2013 alone, Malaysia’s most popular non-local car, the Toyota Vios, was given discounts up to RM7,000, causing the existing stock of the second generation of Vios were snapped by the middle of 2013, a few months before the launching of third generation Vios in the final quarter of 2013. Meanwhile, there is an online post from LY.NET’s Fast and Furious saying Honda can give discounts up to a whopping RM10,000 for the ever popular Honda City. The next generation of Honda City will arrive sometime in 2014.

Living in the current times when the cost of living is nothing but spiraling upwards, moreover living in the country where cars were taxed like how you spread Nutella in your slice of bread, it is actually not a bad idea to go to this end-of-life or end-of-year cars. After all, a good choice of such wheels may provide everlasting low-cost of ownership and trouble-free motoring for many years to come. In the Penang’s CM case, to me, I think it is not a bad deal after all, as the CM’s previous SL300 was near the age of 20 years and might be too costly to maintain. Depending to the state’s wealth he could have splurged with the new S class W221 which is achievable, but he chose not to. Controversy aside, he is in fact showing a good example to all Malaysians that getting an end of year or end of life car is actually not a bad choice, especially in these challenging times. Let’s hope the S class of PG1 will serve Lim Guan Eng and other future CM of Penang for many years to come.

That bags a question of, are they any such cars available now? Since we are now at the beginning of 2014, I’m afraid you may need to wait around 10 months or so before I can fairly answer that. But actually, there are some marque are now having special promos to clear off inventories from 2013, so do your own homework and perhaps you will be awarded with a brilliant deal. Until then, wishing everyone here a Happy New 2014 to all.

*This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Autofreaks.Net