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13:17    |    03/05/2010

Auto market will face difficulties at least another two years

Auto market, seriously hit by financial crisis will face low sales in 2010 and in 2011, until the Romanians' purchasing power will start going up. An important factor which has already started to stimulate new car sales, is the scrapping premium. Car pollution fee introduced this year, which represents 7% of a car’s price, discourages acquisitions. Access to financing which remains limited is another negative factor for the car market this year. How Romanians changed their acquisition options last year, what losses the auto market registered, what survival strategies car producers ,dealers and importers used and what recovery signs shows the market this year,  Radu Cristian, director of Trust Motors ( ), importer of Peugeot vehicles in Romania, explained for Bucharest Herald.

Facing a dramatic sales decline in 2009, caused by the change of buyers’ options, for which the lowest price was the main argument, car dealers were obliged to make large discounts to liquidate stocks.

“Last year, to liquidate the stock accumulated at the end of 2008 price cuts reached on average 30 per cent of the list price.” according to Radu Cristian.

The strategy was successful only partially, considering that the first trimester of the year ended with negative results for the auto market. Romanians bought 18,947 cars, 43.4% less than in the first trimester of  2009, according to APIA data. The encouraging signals come from the international markets, the demands of which for cars produced in Romania increased significantly between January and April. Exports which climbed 61% in the first trimester, to 73,213 units determined production growth by 63%, to 80,471 units.

There are chances for sales to go up on the local market as well. Scrapping premiums worth 3,800 RON, granted through “Rabla” programme initiated by the Ministry of Environment  in 2009 have already increased the sales by 11,000 cars, according to the Minister of Environment, Laszlo Borbely. Government will supplement the number of vouchers by another 50,000, besides the 110,000 already allotted, measure which could further boost sales.

“The 50,000 supplementary vouchers will increase the new car sales by 20,000 to 30,000 units. Romanians have to choose right now between buying a new car or a second hand car. Scrapping premium is a very important stimulant as the cumulus of more vouchers can determine consistent reductions in the acquisition of a new car.” says Radu Cristian.

“Rabla” programme allows the acquisition of new cars based on discounts resulted from the cumulus of maximum three scrapping vouchers worth 114.000 RON in total.

Even under these circumstances the scrapping premium cannot make a very big difference on the auto market in 2010 and other positive factors are difficult to foresee at the moment.

“In 2010 it is difficult to identify other positive vectors able to increase sales, except for the scrapping premium. But the decline registered on the auto market in 2009 against 2008, but also in the first part of 2010 cannot be offset only through the influence of the scrapping premium, even if the system was corrected and is now much more efficient and accessible compared with the previous versions.” adds Radu Cristian.

The main negative factor which will keep compromising the sales this year is the auto pollution fee, which represents 6-7% of a car’s price and discourages the acquisitions.  

“Auto market will face difficulties at least another one or two years from now on. Purchasing power will recover in one or two years and customers' demands will be much higher than now. It is yet to be seen which constructurors will be able to adapt their products to customers' demands, still under development right now.”  says Radu Cristian.

Limited financial resources determined Romanians to resist for a while the temptation to buy the newest models at highest prices. Price- quality ratio weighs more in this period, than the design or the brand.  

“It is less an emotional decision, related to design or brand, as it was before.” says Radu Cristian.

 APIA data show that in the first trimester of 2010, most Romanians bought cars on prices which did not exceed 10,000 Euro per unit.

Ford and Dacia were the brands which registered the highest sales in the first three months of 2010, followed by Renault. Although sales results are positive for Dacia and the new Duster, launched this year, has tempting prices for an SUV, starting from 10,000 Euro, Trust Motors general manager thinks that Romanians will not chose Dacia in great numbers because this is a national brand, they will chose any attractive brand in terms of price and quality.

“Romanians are not necessarily attached to Dacia, from reasons related to the car’s country origin. Even if Duster model was launched I don’t think they will choose it instead of other brands, only out of patriotism. The quality- price ration will remain the most important irrespective of the brand” explains Radu Cristian.

Financing remains an issue in 2010 and considering that the banks grant loans with difficulty, financial and operational leasing are the only options for a person that does not have enough money to buy a new car. The dealers also have their own financing options launched to stimulate sales.

Trust Motors last year sold 1,000 vehicles in operational leasing, through the company MyCar Trading set up in 2007. Buyers pay a 20% advance from the car’s price on acquisition, irrespective of their revenues.

The new models launched by Peugeot in 2010 and in 2011 will range this year in the category of strong and imposing cars, design becoming secondary. Peugeot MPV 5008 has already been launched and RCZ with diesel model, which will be sold on prices under 29,000 Euro will be launched in summer. “

“By the end of the year we will also have a new version of Peugeot 308. In 2011, 407 and 607 models will be replaced with a model which will probably be called 508, which ranges between the two models in size. It is a more serious, imposing car. The stress does not lay so much on design, functionality is what matters most.”

Radu Cristian: Piata auto se va confrunta cu dificultati cel putin doi ani de acum inainte

Piata auto, afectata puternic de criza financiara se va confrunta cu vanzari scazute si in 2010 si posibil si in 2011, pana cand puterea de cumparare a romanilor va incepe sa creasca. Un factor important care a inceput deja sa stimuleze vanzarile de autoturisme noi, este prima de casare. Taxa de poluare, introdusa anul acesta, care reprezinta 7% din pretul unei masini, descurajeaza insa achizitiile. Accesul la finantare, care ramane limitat in continuare, este un alt factor defavorizant pentru piata auto anul acesta. Cum si-au modificat romanii optiunile de achizitie anul trecut, ce pierderi a suferit piata auto, ce strategii de supravietuire au folosit producatorii, importatorii si dealerii auto si ce semnale de revenire da piata anul acesta, a explicat pentru Bucharest Herald, Radu Cristian, directorul Trust Motors ( ), importatorul Peugeot in Romania.

Confruntati cu un declin dramatic al vanzarilor in 2009, provocat de schimbarea optiunilor cumparatorilor, pentru care pretul cat mai mic a fost argumentul principal, dealerii auto au fost obligati sa faca discounturi mari, pentru a-si lichida stocurile.

“Anul trecut, pentru a lichida stocurile acumulate la finele lui 2008 s-a mers cu reducerile de preturi in medie pana la 30 la suta din pretul de lista.” potrivit lui Radu Cristian.

Strategia a avut succes doar partial, avand in vedere ca primul trimestru al anului s-a incheiat cu rezultate negative pentru piata auto. Romanii au cumparat 18.947 de masini, cu 43.4% mai putin decat in primul trimestru al lui 2009, potrivit datelor APIA. Semnalele incurajatoare vin de pe pietele internationale, ale caror cereri de autoturisme produse in Romania au crescut semnificativ in intervalul ianuarie- aprilie. Exporturile care au urcat cu 61% in primul trimestru, pana la  73.213 de unitati au determinat si cresterea productiei cu 63%, pana la 80.471 de unitati.

Sansele ca vanzarile sa creasca si pe piata interna exista. Primele de casare in valoare de 3.800 de RON, acordate prin programul Rabla initial de Ministerul Mediului in 2009 au crescut deja vanzarile cu 11.000 de autoturisme, potrivit Ministrului Mediului Laszlo Borbely. Guvernul va suplimenta numarul de vouchere cu inca 50.000, pe langa cele 110.000 deja alocate, masura care poate creste vanzarile si mai mult.

“Cele 50.000 de vouchere emise suplimentar vor creste vanzarile de vehicule noi cu inca 20.00 -30.000 unitati. Romanii in acest moment trebuie sa aleaga intre a achizitiona o masina noua sau o masina second hand. Prima de casare e un stimulent foarte important, pentru ca prin cumularea mai multor vouchere se pot face discounturi consistente la achizitia unei masini noi.” spune Radu Cristian.

Programul “Rabla” permite achizitia de masini noi, pe baza discounturilor rezultate din maxim trei vouchere de casare, in valoare totala de 114,000 de RON.

Chiar si in acesta conditii prima de casare nu poate face o diferenta foarte mare pe piata auto in 2010, iar alti factori pozitivi sunt greu de intrevazut deocamdata.

“In 2010 sunt greu de identificat in acest moment alti  vectori pozitivi apti sa creasca vanzarile cu exceptia primei de casare. Insa scaderea inregistrata de piata auto in 2009 fata de 2008 dar si in prima parte a lui 2010 nu poate fi contrabalansata doar prin influenta primei de casare, chiar daca sistemul a fost corectat si este acum mult mai performant si accesbil fata de versiunile trecute.” A adaugat Radu Cristian.

Principalul factor negativ, care va compromite in continuare vanzarile anul acesta, este taxa pe poluare, care reprezinta 6-7% din pretul unei masini si care descurajeaza achizitiile.

"Piata auto se va confrunta cu dificultati cel putin doi ani de acum inainte. Puterea de cumparare va reveni intr-un an sau doi, iar atunci pretentiile cumparatorilor vot fi mult mai mari decat acum. Ramane de vazut care vor fi constructorii care vor fi capabili sa isi adapteze produsele preferintelor clientilor, preferinte inca in curs de cristalizare in acest moment.” spune Radu Cristian.

Resursele financiare limitate i-au determinat pe romani sa reziste pentru o vreme tentatiei de a achizitiona modelele cele mai noi, la cele mai mari preturi. Raportul calitate- pret conteaza mai mult in aceasta perioada, decat designul sau marca.

“Este mai putin vorba despre o decizie emotionala, legata de design sau de marca, asa cum era inainte.” spune Radu Cristian.

Datele APIA arata ca in primul trimestru al lui 2010,  majoritatea romanilor au cumparat masini la preturi care nu au depasit 10.000 de Euro.

Ford si Dacia au fost marcile care au inregistrat cele mai mari vanzari in primele trei luni ale lui 2010, urmate de Renault. Desi rezultatele vanzarilor sunt bune in cazul Dacia, iar noul Duster, lansat anul acesta, are preturi tentante pentru un SUV, care incep de la 10.000 de Euro, directorul Trust Motors este de parere ca romanii nu vor alege preponderent Dacia pentru ca este o marca nationala, ci vor opta pentru orice marca atractiva din punct de vedere al pretului si al calitatii.

“Romanii nu sunt neaparat atasati de Dacia, din motive legate de tara de origine a masinii - chiar daca modelul Duster a fost lansat, nu cred ca vor opta pentru el in defavoarea altor marci, doar din patriotism. Raportul calitate- pret va ramane determinant, indiferent de marca.” explica Radu Cristian.

Finantarea ramane problematica si in 2010, iar in conditiile in care bancile acorda cu greu imprumuturi, leasingul financiar si leasingul operational sunt singurele variante pentru o persoana care nu dispune de suficienti bani pentru a-si cumpara o masina noua. Dealerii au si ei propriile variante de finantare, lansate pentru a stimula vanzarile.

Trust Motors a vandut anul trecut 1.000 de vehicule in leasing operational, prin compania MyCar Trading infiintata in 2007. Cumparatorii platesc un avans de 20% din pretul masini, la achizitie, indiferent de venituri si de gradul de indatorare.

Modele noi lansate de Peugeot in 2010 si 2011 se vor incadra anul acesta in gama masinilor puternice si impunatoare, designul trecand in plan secundar. MPV-ul Peugeot 5008 a fost deja lansat, iar in vara urmeaza RCZ cu motor diesel, care va fi comercializat la preturi sub 29.000 de Euro.

“Spre sfarsitul anului vom avea si o versiune noua a lui Peugeot 308. In 2011, modelele 407 si 607 vor fi inlocuite cu un model care se va numi probabil 508, un model care se situeaza intre cele doua ca dimensiuni. Este o masina mai serioasa, impunatoare, accentul nu cade atat de mult pe design, ci mai mult pe functionalitate.”

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