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Archive for December, 2020

The Low-Down on Car Deposits

In the second-hand car market, it’s not uncommon to encounter sellers who are looking for some security to close a deal. That is, if you are hoping they will hold onto the vehicle while you stump up the cash, then it’s only fair that a deposit be placed. Not only does this show that your interests are legitimate but it protects the seller in case you pull out of the deal when they have other interested buyers.

When it comes to the new car market, a deposit isn’t strictly essential when applying for finance to secure the car you want. However, by doing so, it can make your life a whole lot easier, as you’ll have a larger choice of financiers to deal with, not to mention, scope to achieve better terms for any finance on the vehicle.

With this in mind, before you make the decision to put down a deposit for a car, consider these vital points.

 

 

First things first, it’s all about due diligence

Because there are often caveats dictating the instances in which a car deposit may be refunded, or the ability to back out of a loan, there is nothing more important than being sure this car is the car for you. It’s one thing to think that the car is what you’re after but until you’ve taken it out for a spin, and looked into its detailed history, you’re really just taking a punt – and a risky one at that.

Be sure to arrange a test drive. If it’s a second-hand vehicle, look into the vehicle’s service history and general condition to see if there might be any gremlins hiding under the hood. Most importantly, check the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) to ensure that the car has a clean bill of history – that is, it’s neither stolen, written-off, or under finance.

 

A contract speaks louder than everything else

If there was ever a more important thing when it comes to buying a car, it’s hard to go past a contract. This will not only outline the terms of the sale, and for any finance you have secured, but define each party’s rights in the event of a disagreement.

Verbal discussions and agreements might be fine for low value asset purchases but a car is not one of them. Always draft a contract – even a simple one – to define the terms surrounding the deposit and under what circumstances you can reclaim it. Every reputable dealer will also deal with you through a contract, so if you ever have any resistance on that point, run!

 

 

Relieve pressure by negotiating

Although a dealer or private seller may claim to have other prospective buyers waiting in the wings, it’s crucial you do not rush the abovementioned due diligence on account of feeling pressured into the sale. Whether it is the terms of the sale, conditions of the deposit with your financier, or the dollar figure associated with either aspect, always try to bargain your way to a better outcome.

If you feel as though the dealer or seller is trying to close the sale quickly, there may or may not be legitimate reasons. But remember, reversing a bad decision is a far more complex and unlikely task than finding another suitable vehicle to buy.

 

Put down what you can afford

The trade-off between a deposit or higher up-front purchase price will follow you for years to come. So always make sure that you weigh up your financial position, including ability to meet repayments, job security and the like. Speak to a financial adviser if necessary, as it’s important you get that loan-to-value ratio spot on.

BEV & E-GMP Are The Way Forward: Hyundai.

In a major step forward in the electric car industry, Hyundai Motor Group has unveiled its new Electric-Global Modular Platform or E-GMP. It will produce a BEV or Battery Electric Vehicle in a dedicated move to create a core platform to develop the technology.To be launched in 2021, the program will form the basis for Hyundai’s next Ioniq, a dedicated BEV from Kia, and potentially other models for the brands. E-GMP is intended to be a bespoke platform for the company’s BEV range, having benefits such as increased development flexibility, powerful driving performance, increased driving range, strengthened safety features, and more interior space for occupants and luggage.

Driving performance will allow a sport-oriented model to achieve sub-four second 100kph times, whilst the platform can accommodate SUVs, sedans, or Crossover Urban Vehicles. By using a system called modularisation, it makes for better building and cost amortisation. The chassis design can be shrunk or stretched to accommodate the battery placement and therefore ensure weight distribution is always as appropriate as possible. A five-link rear suspension system, which is typically used for mid and large sized vehicle segments, and the world’s first integrated drive axle (IDA), which combines wheel bearings with the drive shaft to transmit power to the wheels, enhance ride comfort and handling stability.

The structure will be ultra-high strength steel for rigidity, with hot-stamped steel parts adding to the torsional strength. Energy absorption can then be designed into the structure as needed. This includes the front of the chassis where the A-pillar can deform to spread energy from an impact and thereby diverting kinetic energy from the floor mounted battery and front engine.
Short overhangs maximise interior packaging, and assisted by the flat battery floor, means any vehicle can be tweaked to suit a specific use target. this could include seating layout and positioning for leg room.

Drive will come from an integrated, single module, unit, which is able to raise the rotational speed by up to 70% over existing units. The module is comprised of a motor, EV transmission, and an inverter. A smaller size means less weight and yet efficiency isn’t compromised.

“Today our front-wheel driven Hyundai and Kia BEVs are already among the most efficient ones in their segments.” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of R&D Division for Hyundai Motor Group. “With our rear-wheel driven based E-GMP, we are extending our technological leadership into segments where customers demand excellent driving dynamics and outstanding efficiency.”

Fayez Abdul Rahman, Senior Vice President of Vehicle Architecture Development Center for Hyundai Motor Group: “E-GMP is the culmination of years of research and development and brings together our most cutting-edge technologies. Our BEV line-up will evolve and be strengthened by this innovative new platform.”

Extra cooling has allowed Hyundai to redevelop their battery system. It is denser and more compact, with up to 10% more density in comparison to what is currently available. Linked to the engine unit is the inverter power module that uses Silicon Carbide material. This enhances efficiency by two to three percent and then allow a range extension from that battery of up to 5%. The battery module itself will be a standardised model, with a pouch-type cell structure that can be tailored as per design specification.

Drive itself will be predominantly rear wheel oriented. All wheel drive configuration on the E-GMP platform will be available. Hyundai will employ a EV transmission disconnector that “talks” to the front motor if fitted, and can switch, on the fly, between two and all wheel drive.As charge point infrastructure changes, Hyundai has future-proofed with an investment in a European based network, IONITY. The name also fits the IONIQ branding for Hyundai’s current EV range. IONITY currently offer 308 high power charge points that can charge at up to 350kW. There are 51 extra stations under construction with a view to offering 400 points by 2022.

E-GMP bring some forward looking tech. Charging at 800V is standard, with a switch to 400V available if necessary. The system has a patent on the technology as there are no additional equipment requirements to “step down” or “step up” the charge. A fully charged battery can provide over 500km of range, and can charge to 80% in just 18 minutes and in five minutes provide up to 100km of range.

There is also a new ICCU, or Integrated Charging Control Unit. This brings what is called V2L, or Vehicle To Load. Instead of a single path, being from a charge source to the BEV, a E-GMP vehicle can discharge to another electricity requiring source from 110V to 220V including another EV. Maximum output is rated as 3.5kW which Hyundai says could power a 55-inch TV for up to 24 hours.

Sibling company Kia is also part of the program, employing its “Plan S” strategy. One key aim is 20% of their vehicles to be EV in sales by 2025 and they are aiming to have seven dedicated BEVs by 2027.

Auto Bounce Back: Is the Slide Over?

Australia’s two and a half year run of decreasing sales has come to an end, says the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Sales for the month of November, 2020, were recorded at 95,205, an increase of 10,497 sales or 12.4 per cent on November 2019 when 84,708 sales were recorded.

Year to date (YTD) however shows that sales are still well down on 2019, with 978,628 sales last year, whilst 2020 has recorded 821,316 so far.

Toyota continued its imperious march over its competitors, with November figures of 23,204 sales, ahead of Mazda with 9,053 sales, Hyundai with 6,903 sales which just pipped Ford with 6,613 sales and Mitsubishi with 5,488 sales.

The top five selling models for the month were the Toyota HiLux with 5,038 sales, the Ford Ranger with 4,260 sales, the Toyota RAV4 with 3,800 sales, the Toyota Landcruiser with 2,947 sales and the Toyota Corolla with 2,774 sales.
SUVs continued to outsell other vehicle types with a 52.5 per cent share of the market for a total of 50,016 sales. That’s an increase of 26.5% over November 2019. 20,711 Passenger Vehicle were sold and that’s down 10.1 per cent from November 2019, for a 21.8 per cent of the total market. Light Commercial vehicles claimed 22.3 per cent of the market with 21,252 sales, up 11.5 per cent from November 2019.

Inside the passenger vehicle segment, 94 vehicles were pure electric, 2,912 were hybrids, whilst 33 were the plug-in hybrid or PHEV type. in the SUV segment, the breakdown is 84, 3,975, and 102. All three categories in these two segments show increases varying from some to substantial.
For the Micro car segment, Kia’s Picanto (433) continues to dominate, with MG’s MG3 taking the gold in the sub-$25K light cars (632) ahead of The Toyota Yaris and Suzuki Swift (482 and 446). For the small sub-$40K, Hyundai’s i30 was 2nd on 2,047, with the Kia Cerato 3rd on 1,625.

The medium sub-$60K saw Skoda’s Octavia in 2nd, well behind the Camry (286 vs 1,283) and ahead of the Mazda6 (161). BMW’s 3 Series continued to dominate the plus-$60K sector (461) over the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (353).

People movers and the Kia Carnival more than doubled the sales of the Honda Odyssey in the sub-$60K sector (268 to 107) whilst in the Sports Car sector the Mustang sold seven per day to move 230 in November 2020.
Moving to SUVs and in the light SUV segment it’s Mazda’s CX-3 doubling the newly released Yaris Cross (1,562 to 794) whilst it’s a hard fought battle in the sub-$40K small SUV. It’s a virtual tie between the Mitsubishi ASX over the Hyundai Kona (1,465 to 1,453) with the MG ZS having a win over the Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-30 (1,133 to 1,058 and 1,038).

Things are a little more spread out in the plus-$40K, with RAV4 (3,800) over Mazda’s CX-5 (2,412) and Hyundai’s Tucson (1,995). Subaru’s soon to be updated Forester found 1,502, just ahead of Nissan’s X-Trail at 1,405.

Toyota’s aging Prado continued to find appeal with 2,602 in the sub-$70K large SUVs. It’s well ahead of the Isuzu MU-X (848) that outsold the Kia Sorento (796) and Mazda CX-9 (743). In the same size but priced at over $70K, the new Genesis GV80 moved 21 but the winners were BMW’s X5 (366) and Audi’s Q7 (229).

Information courtesy of the FCAI and VFACTS.

How Unique is My Drive?

Audi RS 5

It’s pretty likely that you’ll be aware of the enormous number of brand names out there in the market place.  The mass consumer goods industry is a huge area of vibrant buying madness, and it’s all about choice and variety – isn’t it?  Who is supplying the different brands and goods served onto our own dinner tables?  Who is supplying the different brands and goods that we choose to wear for clothing?  Who is supplying the different brands of fuel for our cars?  Who is supplying the different brands of cars that we buy?

There has been a bit of an illusion of choice that’s been built up over the last few decades.  Back in the old days when most people lived in villages and small towns everyone knew who the local blacksmith was that tinkered on the locals’ machinery.  The food and produce at the local store usually came from local farmers, and the animals were bought locally or nearby.  Today, goods may have travelled the world before they arrive at our door.  And, today, generally, we know all of the company names who own and sell the favourite brands that we buy – don’t we?

We likely inherently know that PepsiCo sells plenty of drink beverages, including its flagship Pepsi product.  We may well know that Nestle makes Milky Bars, Kit Kat, scorched almonds and Nescafe instant coffee.  What is less recognizable is that Nestle also makes DiGiorno pizzas and owns two competing brands of rather nice carbonated water, which are called San Pellegrino and Perrier.  Did you know that Nestle also has at least 29 separate brands that all help make them an annual sales turnover of $1 billion!  And, inside each of these brands, the company has hundreds of different food products in all kinds of sectors.  Nestle is the world’s largest food company by revenue, and its market capitalization in dollar terms is massive; well over $225 billion in fact.

There is nothing wrong in buying from any of these brands, but it is worth noting that every dollar of your money is a vote; a vote for products and companies that you believe in, or maybe now would rather not…  But let’s get back to cars, because, as much as I like chocolate, we are all about cars here at Private Fleet, aren’t we?

A relatively recent study found that it was actually only around 14 major big companies that controlled 54 common car brands that most of us either buy our own cars from, or will, at least, be familiar with.  So, say you were looking to buy a luxury car such as a quick Porsche or classy Bentley; well, you might just have less choice than you may think.  These two luxury brands are actually owned by Volkswagen (a German-based company) who also own the Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Skoda brand, as well as VW and Seat.  Interestingly, motoring fans would often consider Porsche and Audi RS cars to be entirely different, even out-and-out rivals, but here they are being owned and governed by VW.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., often abbreviated as FCA, owns Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Maserati and Jeep; oh, and Lancia, RAM, Fiat and Chrysler vehicles.

GM is the company who owns Buick and Chevrolet.  But did you know they also own Holden, Vauxhall, Cadillac, Opel, GMC, Wuling Motors and Baojun.

Perhaps if you wanted a nice car built for the masses but that wasn’t at all much linked to any other marque, then you could argue that, of the 14 companies, Daimler, Ford, Honda, PSA, Hyundai, Toyota and Nissan are the truly most distinctive brands amidst the monopolies.  Daimler owns and makes Mercedes Benz and Smart cars; Ford owns and makes Ford and Lincoln cars; Honda owns and makes Honda and Acura cars; PSA owns and makes DS, Citroen and Peugeot cars; Hyundai owns and makes Hyundai and Kia cars; Toyota owns and makes Toyota, Lexus and Daihatsu cars; and Nissan owns and makes Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun cars.

It’s just another way of being informed and looking at things!