(No, he's not).
But he does know stuff about the industry and he does his analysis and recently, knowing that he has a current obsession with the price of cars in Australia, I drew his attention to this letter in the Sydney Morning Herald:
And in response, my friend wrote this to me:
So Australia is "the most competitive car market in the world" ("Got a brand new
Cadillac", Drive, December 8-9)? Gee, really? Then why do we pay through the nose for cars, especially imports?The subject of the article, the Cadillac CTS V6, is to be priced from about $70,000 when it goes on sale next year in Australia. In the US its price starts at $US32,990 (before sales tax) - about $38,000. That's right, we'll be paying a whopping $32,000 more.Sure, there are additional costs due to freight, import duty, GST and minor equipment differences, but there is no way they add up to anywhere near an 84 per cent increase. Compare the local price of any imported car with what people are paying in the US or Britain and you will find such huge discrepancies.When the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is done dealing with the airline industry's price fixing, maybe it can take a look at the local car market.
So, any VVB car fans out there care to give a damn? After all, it's your money we're talking about.
And did you see the pricing for the upcoming Jag XF: Spec: 4.2V8 Price: US - USD49750. Aus - AUD135000. Spec: 4.2 V8, Supercharged Price: US - USD62000. Aus - AUD170000
Do the sums. At AUD1=.USD0.8 and 10%duty, and 10% GST, and even with a little LCT, there is something like $60-80K difference in price, all of which goes straight to margin.
We really have to be the most uneducated car buying public in the 'developed' world. The up-line brands can't pull this sort of stunt any where else, excepting Uganda and Malaysia, maybe. And we keep buying the stuff. And boasting to our respective neighbours that we paid 400% of their Commodore price! We boast about it! We feel good about it. We're better humans!
It's interesting. In the US, the difference between a well-equipped, generally competent GM car and its natural up-line competitor (M-B, BMW etc) is around 100:140-160. In Australia, it is 100:300-400. How is that? Let's stick that on VVB and see what comes from it. I put a not dissimilar entry (regarding BMW 335i pricing) onto the Wheels blog, and while the editor (Chris Kable, a friend of mine), saw and commented favourably on it, as far as the general public goes, not a whisper.
(*) No, I'd never heard of it either.