Posts Tagged ‘finance’

Oh it’s so doom and gloom out there for car sales, isn’t it? Actually, no. It’s not. Amercian Express Insurance Services have found some nifty research that says that while new car sales are down, people are still after new motors as there’s a growing trend to buy used cars instead.

The study shows that there’s been an incease from 22%-41% in the number of people planning on buying a second hand car over three years old during the last year. Meanwhile those considering a used car under three years old has decreased from 48% to 35%. 

Why? Surely it has something to do with the lack of credit available now. Yes there’s lots of offers and financing available but how many people are actually able to quailify for it. It makes sense then that bargains are sought out and used cars are now the order of the day.

Seems like keeping up with the neighbours isn’t the most important thing when it comes to car buying. It’s the need to get a good deal at a good price and, lets face it, buying a car that’s over three years old is far from buying a banger.  

There’s other costs to consider too. The joy of second hand cars, in my own humble, is that you’re not buying something that looses half it’s value the instant you roll it off the forecourt. Plus, I a was always of the idea that when by the time a car’s been on the road for three years, it will have already had a lot of servicing and work carried out on it so you know you’re getting something reliable.

Though, on a final note, I’ll be interested to see if the Scrappage Scheme has any impact on these stats, will the prospect of £2k toward it make buying a new car as attractive a saving as a used?


There’s usually one assocaition with the phrases “axes” and “job cuts” but imagine my surprise when Fiat announced they’re axing the job cuts. The best kind of double negative? I think so.

So what’s going on? Fiat have cancelled their scheduled factory shutdowns that would have affected 8,000 workers and, for once, it’s thanks to the government. The Italian government introduced a new incentive that meant any consumer trading in a polluting, older vehicle (at least 10 years old) and buy a newer, eco-friendlier car would get payments of  €1,500.

The surge in demand means that Fiat have been able to cancel short-term lay offs.

While the governments here and in the US have tried helping the auto industry with bailouts, is this a better solution?

If trading in your big, gas guzzling and polluting 12 year old motor means getting the same sort of money back as the Italians (about £1,300 and $1,900 ) would you be more likely to be buying a new Fiat 500 for example? Not only would you be saving money anyway given the lower fuel costs but the government would be giving you nice lump toward an already cheap motor.

In this way the Italian government are helping both the auto industry, their own economy (given the mass scale and import of the Fiat group there) and the environment.

Is this the way forward? Teach a man to fish and all that…

Sad stuff this. Honda are closing up their Swindon plant for four months once today’s shifts are over. Staff will get their basic pay for the first two months but an estimated 60% of it for the rest of the shutdown.

Yes, this is all in response to the economical crisis and downturn in the car market – not just in the UK, it’s worldwide. Honda have said that global third quarter profit was down 89%.

The philanthropist in me wants to run down my local dealer and encourage everyone to buy up a load of new Honda Civics but I have to re-look at that last point: “profit was down.” So they’re still making a profit.

Loads of car manufacturers – including the once infallible Toyota – posted losses. Honda made a profit. Don’t get me wrong – I’m extremely sympathetic to those staff that won’t be working during the shut down but it seems more a case of a manufacturer doing what we should all do – tightening belts to get through.

The union are saying that staff – while still being paid – are cutting their expenses… “others will take a second mobile phone back  or will take holidays in the UK instead of abroad.”

These are things that should’ve been done anyway regardless of employer. I’m doing that anyway and a friend of mine – who was made redundant and not being paid – can barely afford rent and one mobile phone let alone a second.

To me this is simply a case of Honda doing what it needs to do to ensure long-term survival and the more businesses look at long-term, post-recession plans the better. The more we focus on the negative the more we’ll speculate and continue the downward cycle. Let’s see how the media continue to spin this one!