Prices driven down as car yards struggle
4:00AM Saturday Sep 13, 2008
By Eloise Gibson

Struggling car yards are dropping the price of used cars, offering up to 20 per cent off the usual sticker price.

Figures released yesterday by Statistics New Zealand showed motor vehicle sales had slumped 16.6 per cent since September last year. Sales fell 5.3 per cent, or $32 million, in July, after bouncing back temporarily in June.

The value of vehicle sales is now at the lowest level since November 2001.

Car sales businesses spoken to by the Weekend Herald said used car yards were having to slash prices to keep buyers in the market.

A rainy winter, stretched household budgets and the collapse of easy finance meant salespeople were working harder to make the same number of sales they did this time last year.

For some, that meant dropping prices. John Dallimore of City Imported Autos in Penrose said he had knocked between 10 and 20 per cent off the cars in his lot.

He said the number of sales was unchanged, but profit margins were dramatically different from a year ago. "The bottom line's not that hot."

More here.