There is a common perception that the cost of vehicles is far higher in Australia than other countries around the world. Although recent reports have suggested that many models are actually favourably priced compared to the United Kingdom and the United States, many consumers still feel that they are being ripped off by the Australian market. However, when it comes to Mazda automobile costs, Mazda Australia are insistent that the models are not overpriced and warn of the dangers associated with grey imports.
According to Martin Benders, managing director for Mazda Australia, the claim that new model cars are cheaper everywhere else in the world is “rubbish” and opening up the market to used late model imports could have a devastating effect on the Australian new vehicle market. Benders insists that allowing the back door import of nearly new Japanese and European models would create a flood of aged and unsafe vehicles as seen in New Zealand.
Benders believes that there is little demand for Mazda automobile grey imports and that there are negligible cost benefits to Australian consumers. Additionally, allowing a flood of grey imports would depreciate the value of all used cars.
The current importation of used vehicles has been restricted since the1990s. Prior to these regulations, the import tariffs, quotas, costs of shipping and availability of right hand drive models created an effective limitation of imports. However, many people are now calling for changes to the rules, which would allow grey import legislation to be implemented by 2018.
The new proposed rules would subvert the present system, which currently heavily restricts importation of used vehicles not sold as new in Australia, would initially have limitations such as only allowing vehicles younger than five years old to be imported. These vehicles would only be allowed to be imported from countries with the same vehicle safety and design standards as Australia. This would limit imports to predominantly Japan and UK vehicles. According to Ian MacFarlane, federal industry minister, this should prevent Australia from being a “dumping ground” for old vehicles from other countries. This attitude has been echoed by others including Jamie Briggs, assistant infrastructure minister, who thought the New Zealand vehicle import situation had “horrific” consequences.
According to Benders, even if new regulations were adopted, it is unlikely to have a great effect in the real world as the imports would need to be in demand and cost effective. Most consumers are looking for the latest in safety and technology features, which simply cannot be found on vehicles which are eight to ten years old and at the cheaper end of the import market. These vehicles are also more likely to have poorer fuel economy, which also impacts on the real world savings consumers would actually experience.
Benders stands by the competitiveness of Mazda automobile prices in Australia. He cites the example of the Mazda 3, which is $6,000 cheaper than the equivalent model in the UK and $3,000 cheaper compared to New Zealand models. While models may be cheaper in the United States, he argues that these prices are set with “totally different” market forces. Additionally, the United States and Western Europe do not allow the importation of used vehicles, so he believes that these types of imports should be discouraged in the Australian market.
If you would like to find a great deal on genuine new and used Mazda automobile options, contact us. We have a wide range of Mazda models in out showroom and would be delighted to help.
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