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How hard is it to sell a lesser known car in SG?

By Ragingbull on 17 Dec 2009

Poll: Why it's harder selling a lesser known car in SG? (40 member(s) have cast votes)

Why it's harder selling a lesser known car in SG?

  1. Lack of marketing efforts by the brand (12 votes [30%])

    Percentage of vote: 30%

  2. Respect and reputation is strongly tied to the more accepted brand (8 votes [20%])

    Percentage of vote: 20%

  3. Resale value isn't as good as with an accepted brand (9 votes [23%])

    Percentage of vote: 23%

  4. The "stick to what we know" logic (11 votes [28%])

    Percentage of vote: 28%

Vote Guests cannot vote
Attached Image The year's coming to an end and it caps off a great 10 plus months for me in driving the newest cars injected into the market in 2009.

But looking back, it just makes me realise how somewhat 'traditional' the local market is, that brands like Skoda and Renault have been given the coldest of shoulders when buying a car. And it's even more troubling that apart from the usual suspects of impression makers like Audi and Volkswagen, Skoda was actually the other brand that stood out from the rest.

Yes yes I know they're owned by VW and nearly the whole car besides the glued badge at the front and rear are from it's German parents, but if that's the case, why is it that Skoda isn't doing better or as good as Vee-dub? In a recent article in the Straits Times, a compiled list showed that VW posted a 99.5% increase in their sales figures from a year ago, while Skoda didn't make the list.

I did ask a couple of friends and the words that came up the most in their responses were Russian, plastics are cheap and they might break down more often than most other cars. What they forgot to mention though were the issues with selling a Skoda on the second-hand car market, a genuine concern when buying a less popular brand.

No doubt it's a huge market, but no one is really looking for a Skoda are they. And even if they were, the owner would be hard-pressed to sell their car at a price much lower than he/she would have liked. A recent visit down to the (empty) Skoda Showroom scattered with salesmen yielded no solution to my resale woes when posed with the very question of "How ah? This one can resell easy anot?".

When I took the Skoda VRS Combi out for a spin a couple of months back, it felt like a GTI in a slightly larger body. Not a bad thing considering the punchy and raucous engine felt more than sufficient moving the added weight of the combi around corners and on straights. The chassis was amazing, built on the GTI itself and paired up to the DSG box, made for 5 hours of driving fun that I haven't had in a while.

For Renault...how many people actually know the French car-maker is tied up so close to Nissan, they more or less own each other.

So is there a prevalent sentiment within our car buying culture that instantly rules certain brands out without much care for consideration? But what's your say? Why do you think its such? :huh:

and 1 more...

Viewed: 604 times



  • 1
Seaweed Dec 17 2009 07:15 PM
Not hard at all if it is reliable and value for money...value for money is rather straightforward...means cheaper than others with the same specification...reliability...if the AD believe in what they are selling...offer a 5 years unlimited mileage warranty at least...we have seen Kia being probably the first to offer it...
Watwheels Dec 18 2009 08:57 AM
When ppl mention "lesser known" cars, means sales volume is low. The AD's other means of profit will have to come from servicing. You can't expect longer warranty period or longer warranty mileage from them.
When there are merges between two or more car companies, it does not benefit the car buyers much. But what it does is benefit the car companies who can reduce cost measures in the form of cost cutting eg. sharing car platforms, parts and technology. What we dun see are the network of dealers who will tie up too. Do you see wearnes & tan chong tie up their network dealings? Think again.
Sabretan Dec 18 2009 10:12 AM
There is no denying that resale value is very impt, but for people who plan to hold on to their car on a long term basis (>5yr), servicing and parts availability is equally if not more impt.

Ulu brands becoz of a lack of economy of scale, the AD will not have a comprehensive inventory or expertise to deal with most probs associated w the car and for the case of Skoda, they had changed so many ADs locally that the public (or maybe minority) confidence in them is really low.
Tigerwoods Dec 18 2009 11:04 AM
Resale Value for Lesser Known cars are really bad because no one dares to buy a car that are scarce in the market.

But for well known brands, I cannot say they have good resale value.
Compare Apple to Apple, If you buy a Hyundai AVante for 50k and Toyota Altis for 70k
You will peg your 2nd hand car price base on the OMV, COE.

If you do the sums, the Depreciation value/year of Jap car is higher than Korean because of the higher Iniitial Buy Price.
Ragingbull Dec 18 2009 12:26 PM
Sabretan: I agree with you that with the shuffling of the brand amongst different dealers does reduce the confidence the layman has in the said brands. But in the case of Skoda, the brand has basically been overhauled in the last couple of years and with direction under VW, they will no doubt be looking to new, more capable dealers to take over their brand presence in Singapore.

I personally think the brands are not allocating enough to their marketing budget to change their perceived brand image.
Babyt Dec 18 2009 01:50 PM
Chery also offers buyback scheme but do u think u got more QQ on the road?
Chibibotto Dec 19 2009 12:27 PM
The design of skoda and Renault don't appeal to most. On top of that, for the same price, there are many other choices that have more appealing look. Ofcos it is known that looks is not everything when buying a car, but a very important one to most. The vrs combi look ok especially with it's LED daylight, but the price tag put some off as many Japanese counterparts with better look and expected better resale value are available in the market. The Renault on the other hand doesn't seems to be improving in the looks department. It's so unlike it's French counterparts Peugeot whose design is always sexy. Look at the megane, it's a good car, but the looks never change much over the years. Then compare the new Clio with the Peugeot 207. Votes are likely to go to the 207. If they start to make the car more appealing in the looks department, I believe the brand will sell better. Take Kia for example, their new range prove to be more appealing. Before this, most look at it as a budget brand, the image now is very much improve. And the sales figures... Hmm, look at the number of forte on the road...
Benarsenal Jan 17 2010 02:07 AM
I doubt marketing has much to do with it. Unfortunately in Singapore, reputation, especially in pragmatic areas like reliability, is everything. Why do you think there are so little Alfa Romeos in Singapore?

Skoda's reputation is of a shoddy communist car, which was somewhat true at first, but obviously not so now. But image sticks, and even though 21st century Skodas are as good as, or even better, than Volkswagen, locals, especially the older generation who have the money to splurge on cars, still have the communist image of Skoda.

Using my Dad as an example, he once had a Fiat Regatta which required a jump start every morning. As a result, he refuses to touch any European car with a barge pole until today, preferring to stick to the usual Japanese brands.
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