The car industry may be heading towards its third consecutive record year, but the champagne corks arenât popping at the top end of town.
While overall car sales are up slightly sales of luxury brands are down by more than 5 per cent.
Audi and BMW are bearing the brunt of the slowdown as Mercedes consolidates its position as top dog in the prestige market.
That’s good news for luxury buyers, especially if they are in the market for a sedan, as dealers are approaching the New Year with too much stock for comfort.
Some dealers are believed to be slashing more than $10,000 off low-kilometre, slow-moving models. Here’s a guide to the luxury brands that should be willing to do a deal on 2017-plated stock.
The German brand has been a juggernaut in recent years, with sales growing by 70 per cent in just four short years, but sales are down by almost 10 per cent this year.
The A5 has been the only bright spot this year, with every other variant dropping sales.
In response, Audi has been running a “sales event” since the beginning of October, offering reductions equal to the GST on a range of models. Dealers should be willing to do even better than that on sedans and hatches.
Audi’s had a rough year, but BMW has had a stinker. If you’ve always wanted a 3 Series, now is the time to twist a dealer’s arm. Sales are down by more than a third in 2017.
It’s not just the sedans that are struggling — the X1 and X5 SUVs are finding the going tough as new, shinier metal arrives in rivals’ forecourts.
The brand is usually cagey about offering discounts but is running an “ultimate 2017 plate clearance” at the moment. The website doesn’t give any details about savings but it’s a different story if you talk to dealers direct.
Low-kilometre 3 Series demos are going for a song. Just check the build date as some are more than a year old.
Nissan’s luxury offshoot is finding it difficult to get out of first gear in the local market.
Sales across the range are stagnant and dealers are likely to be very receptive to any offers on the Q50 sedan. The S Premium is advertised on the website for $67,864 drive-away but you can get a 2016 demo model for as little as $54,990 drive-away.
The British brand has been through a stunning renaissance in recent years, with local sales more than quadrupling in the five years to 2016 thanks to all-new products.
This year was a different story, though. Despite the arrival of the F-Pace SUV, the brand still relies heavily on sedans and has suffered accordingly. The XE is the one to haggle on, as sales are down 45 per cent this year.
The “Jaguar unleashed” event is offering complimentary on-roads on new cars but the savings on demos are thousands more.
Jaguar’s sister brand has weathered the storm better than most thanks to its all-SUV line-up and the arrival of new metal in the form of the new Discovery and the sleek Velar.
Nevertheless it is running a “Main Event” promotion that offers free on-roads and 5 years scheduled servicing on selected models. It also has a run-out deal with savings of about $5000 on the superseded Range Rover Evoque TD 150.
Sales are down across the board at Lexus, despite tweaks to its RX and NX SUVs.
This weekend marks the official end of its 2017 plate clearance, which offers free on-roads on selected models, but bargains will be available well into the New Year.
The popularity of the C-Class continues to confound the competition. Sales this year are up by more than a quarter and the car outsells every mid-sized sedan bar the Camry.
Elsewhere, though, the GLC and GLA SUVs are down on last year.
Benz has a special deal on low-kilometre used and demonstrator vehicles that is due to finish on the weekend but deals are likely to spill into the New Year.
The biggest loser in the prestige market in 2017, Volvo is sweating on the arrival of the compact XC40 SUV next year.
Sales are down by more than 20 per cent this year and the brand recently parted ways with its local managing director.
The mid-sized XC60 was launched in October but is yet to make an impact, despite favourable media reviews.
The brand is doing sharp deals on the slow-selling V40 hatch, waiving on-road costs and adding equipment to sweeten the deal.