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The Mercury Cars Guide : August 15th 2009
10— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, August 15, 2009 Pushy Proton pulls out all stops Proton has undergone a major change and is aiming to triple its Australian sales within the next two years. With the price tag they’re attaching, that planmayjust be within their grasp. Stuart Martin tells us how anall-new model, as well as entry-level price-point variants of its existing range in the Australian market. M The company has brought forward the introduction of what it claims will be Australia’s lowest-priced sedan, which arrives in October instead of early next year, with a sub-$13,000 price tag. Proton Cars Australia managing director John Startari said the car’s compliance process was completed early and he saw no point in delaying the new product. ‘‘We’re offering a four-door where many are three-door — you’d argue that the buyer, if they can get more for less, might switch to a sedan if the price is right,’’ he said. ‘‘Initially we’ll get the manual with the 1.6. Early next year we’ll have other variants in automatic and manual with the 1.3-litre engine — it’s based on the Campro 1.6 engine.’’ Startari said the new entry-level models of Satria Neo, Gen2 and Persona would be introduced here just before the end of the year, a big part of the sales increase strategy. ‘‘We’re looking to triple our sales over a two-year period, that’s on the back of a substantial increase in EARLY ARRIVAL: The Proton Satria will be introduced in Australia before the end of the year. marketing and the introduction of a more price-competitive range — we see the volume growth at the lower end,’’ he said. Brand awareness and its dealer network have been two of the company’s main issues, something Startari aims to address within the new plan. ‘‘Our dealer network has undergone substantial change,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ve parted company with 17 of our 41 dealers by mutual consent. We went to them with our plan, with infrastructure that . . . required some investment on their part. Those that didn’t want to do it agreed to cease trading. ‘‘We’ve recruited seven new dealers in the last two months, which we have Hobart Autohaus Sales Finance Service Parts The Ultimate Driving Machine Auction leaves parking lot for laptop JOY PRESENTS RARE OPPORTUNITIES. Joy does not compromise. It does not sacrifice performance for efficiency. It is efficient and dynamic. Visit Hobat Autohaus during the BMW EfficientDynamics XPO, and you’ll receive outstanding opportunities on a wide range of models. JOY IS THE BMW EFFICIENT DYNAMICS XPO. AUGUST 8 - 22. Premium Selection Used Vehicles '08 118iA '07 120iA '08 120iM Graphite, Sunroof '05 320iM Exec., Silver, Sunroof '06 320iA '06 320iA '07 320iA '08 320iA '05 325iA '07 325iA '05 330iA '07 335iA '04 525iA '04 525iA '08 530iA M Sport Pack, Red, 17" Alloys '05 120iA Red, 17" Alloys, Sport Seats Sport, Blue, 18" Alloys, S/roof Executive, Silver, Sunroof Exec., White, S/roof, 18" Alloys '05 325i A Black, Sunroof, 18" alloys Black, Sunroof, 17" Alloys Black, Sunroof, Navigation Graphite, 18" Alloys, Sunroof Silver, Sunroof, Navigation Silver, 18" Alloys, Navigation '05 X3 3.0iA Sport, Black, Sunroof '05 X3 3.0iA Black, HiFi, PDC To view full details, visit: www.hobartautohaus.com.au Hobart Autohaus 23 Barrack Street (Cnr Collins Street), Hobart 7000, Tel: 03 6236 9099 www.hobartautohaus.bmw.com.au AH: Craig Bennett 0409 848 166 AH: Colin Rogers 0439 352 210 All prices are Drive Away. Includes on road costs. 8.8.09 Drive away $45,990 $32,990 $51,990 $46,790 $41,590 $47,990 $48,990 Exec., Bronze, S/roof, 17" Alloys $51,990 Exec. Innov., Bronze, Sport Seats $58,990 $49,990 $51,990 $72,790 $54,990 $99,990 $54,990 Silver, 17" Alloys, S/roof, Low kms $55,990 Sport, Black, Sunroof, 19” Alloys $119,590 $47,990 $49,950 '07 X5 3.0dA Exec., Black, Sunroof, 19" Alloys $93,990 '05 M3 SMG Blue, Sunroof, 19" alloys, low KM $84,990 FORGET buying baby clothes, TVs and designer shoes online — the new General Motors is selling cars in the US on eBay. The auction and sales web- site is teaming up with 225 Californian GM dealers, including Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and the now-defunct Pontiac brands, in a claimed first promotion to click and buy new vehicles. The gm.ebay.com site went live overnight and will run until September 8 in the US. GMsaid car buyers will be able look at up to 20,000 vehicles in California dealer stocks online and will be able to ask questions, value a trade-in, compare and negotiate prices, arrange financing and payment. The website will offer ve- hicles for sale in a format familiar to current eBay sales ‘‘Buy It Now’’ or ‘‘Best Offer.’’ eBay Motors vicepresident Rob Chesney said there were more than 12 million individual car shoppers visiting the website every month. ‘‘Through this program, we are helpingGMdealers to extend their physical showroom while at the same time delivering to our buyers the great deals and broad selection they expect from eBay. GMUSsales vice-president Mark LaNeve said the partnership was reinventing the car-buying experience in California. ‘‘As the dealer showroom expands from the parking lot to the laptop, this makes it easier for a customer to browse available new-car inventory,makean offer, buy it now or send a message asking for more information from a dealer — all at the customer’s convenience,’’ he said. The troubled car maker quotes research from J.D. Power & Associates that shows more than 75 per cent of new-vehicle buyers in 2008 used the internet during their shopping and research process, a five per cent increase on the previous year. The research by J.D.Power also found that 2008 marked the largest year-over-year increase in online automotive shopping since 2001. GMHolden national media manager Scott Whiffin said Holden had no plans to embark on a car sales partnership with eBay. STUART MARTIN ONLINESALES:Hundreds of General Motors California dealers have started to auction offnewGMvehicles oneBayas part ofatrial programwith the online auction siteandGM. helping GM dealers to extend their physical showroom while at the same time delivering to our buyers the great deals and broad selection they expect from eBay ‘ ’ We are John Farnell PH MOB 0409 313 332 FAX 03 6231 3332 03 6231 3666 to fast-track now because the car is coming quicker—we need to be at 50 dealers by the end of 2011 nationally. ‘‘We’ve parted company with nearly half our network. Things needed to change and in the last 18 months there’s been some dramatic changes. I’m not saying it’s the last throw of the dice, but things needed to change.’’ Startari said the brand erred with its buyer-direct strategy and needed to raise its profile with consumers. ‘‘We’re dealing with an awareness problem,’’ he said. ‘‘We should be selling 4000 to 5000 a year. We’ve researched this and found out why. At the end of the day it comes down to awareness — if [potential customers] don’t know, they shy away because there are other more visible brands out there. ‘‘Proton has already recruited a number of new dealers and they have told us that they had considered taking on other low-cost brands, but did not want to take the risk with brands that do not have an established record in Australia.’’ With a number of Chinese brands coming into the market, as well as existing Japanese and Korean brands increasing small-car numbers, Proton sees its strength in its 15-year presence in the market. Startari said the Australian arm’s four-year business plan had factory support. ‘‘The factory knows it will be tough in the early stages,’’ he said. ‘‘The market has changed, but the foundations of our business plan are still soundandwebelievewecan achieve it. ‘‘Clearly there will be new low-cost brands entering the market in the coming months. However, Proton’s strength is that it has been in this market for close to 15 years and is a factory-owned operation with the full backing of our parent company in Malaysia. ‘‘Product, pricing and marketing support have received major boosts from our parent company to ensure that we have the tools to expand our market share in this country.Thenext 12 months will tell if we’ve got it right, or if we’ve got horribly wrong.’’ ALAYSIAN car-maker Proton is now exportfocused and with a revitalised pricing strategy, Ask yourself, why didn’t I buy a car from Mr Cars? email: MRCARSOFTASMANIA@bigpond.com 318 Argyle Street, Hobart 7000 97 Mirage – Ideal fi rst car ........................$5,490 98 Festiva Trio S – Automatic ..................$5,990 00 Lancer GLI Wagon – Automatic ..........$8,990 00 323 Astina Hatch ..............................$8,990 02 Lancer Coupe – Sporty ........................$9,990 03 Elantra Sedan ....................................$9,990 01 Econovan ..........................................$9,990 05 Corolla Sedan – Automatic ...............$12,990 04 Cruze 4WD Wagon – Low klms .........$12,990 02 Forester Wagon ..............................$12,990 2004 KIA Carnival 7 Seater, Automatic – $13,990 99 WRX .................................................$13,990 06 Astra CD Hatch – Automatic ............$17,990 06 BF XR6 – Purple.................................$19,990 FINANCE TO A.P.C. WILL TRADE UP OR DOWN WE BUY CARS & COMMERCIALS 03 6231 3666 - Mob 0409 313 332 0409 411 970 2014860-33
August 8th 2009
August 22nd 2009