01 January 2009

FIRST DAY OF 2009... A mix of Liverpool and automotive to come!


With Gerrard's story still occupying the main pages, I decided not to read further. More depressing is that I can't find the preview for our next games against Preston North End, this coming Sunday. Well, Gerrard is THE story now if you're a media man. What made it even more delicious is the fact that Gerrard is the captain of Liverpool, hails from Liverpool and Liverpool is on top of the Premier chart now. Our enemies wishes that the whole Gerrard's predicament will derail our effort to the submit come May. Some even suggested that Gerrard's image will never be the same to the fans but my reply is that as long he is not accused of murdering anyone, I'm not bothered. This is a little distraction, a bit irritation on our New Year celebration.

So, what's with the Nissan Navara picture above? Yes it was taken by me using Canon 400D. And yet to be published actually. May be sometimes within this month. This Saturday's edition will be my review on BMW 135i Coupe.

As you can see, I am still a truck lover. I owned a 3 liter Isuzu D-Max. A mammoth on the road in terms of engine size. However, the new Navara beats all - the biggest size, the most powerful engine 2.5 liter that exuded over 175 horse power and a nice suspension system. The Nissan buddies ask me if I wish to `switch' my truck. I would love to but reality check is that with the global credit crunch today, I don't think I can get a reasonable loan interest rates and also, a sustainable second hand value for my existing truck. But above all, my love towards D-Max never diminished.

It took me a good 12 months before I come to the decision. I tested all the truck available on our market except Tata - which has no aesthetic value at all. And the main reason for me choosing D-Max is for its fuel efficiency. A full tank of 75 liter, you can drive up to 800 km maximum with an average speed below 110km/h. Mine is an automatic transmission. If you choose a manual... there's an annual test made by Isuzu and monitored by independent bodies that proves D-Max can go as far as 1,500 km ! But I suspect they are driving below 100 km/j. In my case, sometimes I drove between 110 km/h to 140 km/h (depending on my mood) and on none-working days I just sailed below 100 km/h.

Because of my job also which allows me to test-drive many-many cars in a month... my truck just register slightly over 19,200 ++ km yesterday. This aspect itself, surely will be a plus factor if ever I think I want to sale it off. Of course the negative factor is that the road tax is almost RM2K. I still not sure what is the current rate because the government did announced sometime ago that the diesel road tax would be standardise with the petrol. Now that the oil price has been lowered, I really not sure. I guess I have to wait for my insurance agent to confirm it for me.

A few buddies ask me about changing their cars this year. My advice is that they have to monitor the nation's economy. Listen to the news more. The global economic problem is expected to be felt within the first quarter here in Malaysia. Though the government, through our `new' Finance Minister is working hard to ensure all the stimulus packages that were announced last year, will be implemented in full-swing. If these works, the impact won't be that dire (or so the experts hopes).

However, my understanding as of now is that, our domestic automotive industry has been experiencing the slowdown of sales since last October (post-Aidilfitri). The negatives are said to be felt across-the-board. Meaning it affected both the players who are the franchise holders (i.e Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc..etc..) and also those Grey Market (Approved Permit Holders) that sold reconditioned premium cars. During the oil price hike in late 2006, the decreased was felt only on the franchise holder. Now, when the AP Holders also admitted that their sales has been affected... it shows that majority of people and companies are controlling their lust for new cars. The warning system of economy breakdown has been sounded since late October, so there is ample time for all of us to adjust. With the exception of a few including the Perak State Government who opted to purchase the Toyota Camry, every one must practice caution for awhile.

There is a positive side of being so. First, if you go now to buy a car... the interest rate inflicted upon you is enormous than before. While 1 point won't make much different to some, but when it is translated into RM60-RM100 extra on your monthly installment, you must do some calculation on your whole budget. The wisdom is that, your car expenses should not be more than 1/4 of your monthly salary. The rest must be balanced between your house mortgage, groceries, child schooling, Astro, petrol etc etc...

Second, your purchasing power is reduced in terms of down payment. If you have a car and you want to resale it to gain some capital, the residual value is an issue based on the car-make. A big disaster if you owned a national car or a korean-car that has been re-badged as national car. For example, for a 2003 Proton Waja the market price could be RM30,000. Now it could be reduce to a few thousand ringgit more. The excuses given by the 2nd hand car dealer is that they also don't have ready buyers.

Third, most of the car dealers are aiming for the Chinese New Year spirits where they usually register lots of new sales annually during that period. Look out for good bargain within this 2-3 weeks prior to the CNY. If you're lucky, you might be offered good value items if you buy a car. At least Perodua (Klang Branch) I have noticed is offering a 32inc Plasma TV for a new MyVi.

Forth, if the sales during the CNY is lousy, the car dealers have to think of something to stimulate their sale. Expect a more rigorous and aggressive marketing ploy among the players. The end benefit is ripe for us to take!

Fifth, if you eyeing for the premium segment, we are hoping the AP holders will lowered the prices of cars like Toyota Caldina, Harrier, Honda Elysion and etc etc. The discount could be between RM15k to RM40k depending on your luck!

hmmm.... I stop here now. So this is a snapshot of what utusanLFC would be starting today. I shall mix my writing between Liverpool FC and automotive industry. Hope you guys like it.


1 comment:

Khan said...

Sigh...Caldina sounds so very nice..



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