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The Mercury Cars Guide : May 16th 2009
6— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, May 16, 2009 All advertised pricing will become ‘‘drive-away’’ from May 25, under new regulations for all consumer products to be enforced by the Australian Competition and Con- sumer Commission. The ACCC will be enforcing all-in pricing under the Trade Practices Act and, for car buyers, that means an advertised price that will include the vehicle, dealer preparation and delivery charges, as well as statutory fees for registration, stamp duty and The new see-through price is right N PAUL GOVER EW-CAR prices in Austra- lia should become almost totally transparent by the end of the month. third-party insurance cover. The new rules are likely to mean a rise in most advertised prices, particularly by major manufacturers and impor- ters. But they could also lead to an absence of prices, particularly in national television campaigns. The change is being hailed as a major breakthrough by the ACCC. ‘‘The new law will not only mean consumers have accurate price infor- mation, but also that businesses have amorelevel playing fieldonwhichto compete when it comes to price representations,’’ says ACCC chair- man Graeme Samuel. Apart from cars, the rules are expected to have a significant impact in areas where there are many components for a final product, including the travel industry. The ‘‘drive-away’’ push comes more than 15 years after Hyundai led Australia into the era of ‘‘drive- away’’ pricing with its original deals on the bargain-basement Excel. They are expected to be welcomed by buyers, but the final detail in the regulations, and the potential for an ACCC crackdown, is ringing warn- ing bells with car companies, which say they will struggle to have nation- al advertising with a price that is applicable across Australia. ‘‘We are a little worried that the ACCChas picked up the ball and run out of the stadium,’’ says Andrew McKellar, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive In- dustries. ‘‘One of the consequences might be not only to make the price transpar- ent, but invisible. Better to do that than be in the ACCC’s gunsights.’’ McKellar says the biggest con- cerns for car companies are the requirement for a ‘‘minimum quan- tifiable price’’ and the different on- costs for different customers in dif- ferent parts of Australia. ‘‘Does the price mean you cannot negotiate below that?’’ he says. ‘‘They have left us with some quite difficult loose ends. There has now cars. Jangling nerves over electric cars R ECYCLINGhighly toxic batteries is one of the hurdles facing the fu- ture rollout of electric The cost of ownership of new- generation alternative-fuelled cars has also been highlighted at a high-level meeting last week between 10 carmakers and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. The FCAI wants to fast-track a united front by the industry as it prepares car buyers for the rapid growth of green cars. ber’s The cham- chief executive, An- drew McKel- lar, says there is an urgent need for infra- structure to be in place for electric cars, new-generation plug-in hybrids, ethanol and alternative fuels. ‘‘There is a sense of urgency in that Australia is ready for this technology ‘ Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Andrew McKellar ’ the industry aswehave anumber of brands preparing to bring in cars with new fuel technologies,’’ he says ‘‘There is a roll for co- ordination across the industry to ensure that we’re pursuing a more pro-active strategy to work with all stakeholders. ‘‘The approach with electric vehicles needs to be seen as one element of a higher strategy that also relates to environmental and green vehicles.’’ These technologies present an enormous global challenge, he says. ‘‘Around the world the chal- lenge of achieving enhanced en- vironmental performance is one of the most pressing priorities the car industry has,’’ McKellar says. Apart from infrastructure needs, the FCAI’s electric vehicle working group will identify the types of vehicles expected to be launched as well as technical and registration requirements of new- generation hybrids and plug-in electric cars. Mitsubishi Australia, which We must ensure hopes to have its i-MIEV electric car on sale soon, was one of the participants at the FCAI meet- ing. Spokesper- son Lenore Fletcher says it was pleasing to see all parties ‘‘start to find our voice in terms of accep- tance’’. ‘‘We are coming to grips with the requirements of the new technology,’’ she says. Apart from Mitsubishi, Toyota and Honda will soon introduce new hybrids. Apart from the new Prius, Toyota will introducing the hy- brid Camry early next year. GM-Holden is aiming to have its Volt ‘‘range-extender’’ hybrid on sale here by 2012. Despite their emerging popu- larity, hybrids are still a small part of the overall car scene. Last year about 5200 hybrid passenger vehicles were sold in a market of more than 1 million. ‘‘We must ensure that Austra- lia is ready for this technology,’’ McKellar says. NEIL McDONALD CHARGE ’ER UP: An electric car in London gets a recharge. got to be a bit of fancy footwork to resolve the issues, as best we can, in the final run-in, or as quickly as possible after that.’’ McKellar expects negotiations to continue for some time because of the complications of implementing the drive-away bottom line. ‘‘In principle it’s commonsense, but once you get into practice with a national market . . . it gets a bit complicated,’’ he says. ‘‘The industry certainly accepts the intent of the underlying legisla- tion. There has been a long period where this has been in development. The motivation and the intent has broad acceptance.’’ lexus.com.au UP TO 50% TAX BREAK L’Exhibition’09 *Excludes new generation RX. Available on new vehicles only, offer ends May 31, 2009. With exceptional factory backed incentives across the Lexus range* Lexus Premier Sales Event. All the economic stimulus you need. event, L’Exhibition, couldn’t have come at a better time. See your Lexus Dealer today. until May 31, Lexus annual sales e come at a better LEXUS OF HOBART 267Argyle Street, Hobart Ph: 1800 631 298 lexusofhobart.com.au After hour enquires please call Damian Mizzen on 0412 602 677 Valid L1450 LEX07212/HM If you’re a business thinking about buying a new vehicle to take advantage of the Federal Government’s proposed Investment Allowance, things just got better. The Federal Government has announced it will increase the proposed business tax break for vehicles purchased before the end of 2009 to 50% for small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million. The proposed 30% deduction for vehicles purchased before 30 June 2009 will continue to apply for large businesses. For further details, consult your tax advisor.
May 2nd 2009
May 23rd 2009