Weblog – How the car became unaffordable

Weblog – How the car became unaffordable

‘We were shocked by the prices’, noted colleague Klaver last week in his double test of the Opel Mokka and the VW Taigo. Well, otherwise I do. Last week I accidentally saw what my test version of the Toyota Yaris Cross should have yielded; more than 38,000 euros. For a B-segment on high legs! Coincidentally, that is precisely the price range of the two high-seaters in Marc’s double test. They even make it brighter; both the Opel and the Volkswagen exceed the 40 mille limit. Whatever their other qualities may be, and I know both as commendable means of transport, for cars of that size it is crazy.

De Telegraaf turns every crashed or stolen supercar into a sport expensive to name. It is irony with a bitter aftertaste. All cars are very expensive for all income classes that have to pay for themselves. In the A-segment, except for a single bare decoy chicken, there is nothing to be found under 15 grand. I give you to do with the salary of a cleaner or caretaker in a nursing home, and a gas price of soon 2.40.

My shock and awe moment came when I saw the price of the new Peugeot 308. The test GT with an ordinary three-cylinder and 130 hp had to yield almost 42 grand with a few non-excessive options. For that you have excellent Korean EVs with more than 400 kilometers range and all the trimmings. At your service, that 308 is indeed available from 29,000 euros and mine was quite rigged like my Yaris Cross and most test cars anyway, but until recently that GT price was GTI money. In 2016 I tested, with animal delight I can tell you, the 308 GTI with 270 hp. The price? A mere 41,940 euros. The starting price of the 308 at the time? Around twenty thousand, with less power but also a substantially lower weight.

This is not comparing apples with oranges, these are hard euros against hard euros. No regrets but safety; even then the 308 got five stars in the crash test. In the same period, the base price for top competitor Golf rose by more than 10,000 euros to 32,500. What the hell is going on in B and C segment?

Okay, soared trim levels, the escalating commodity and chip price spiral. Whatever the reasons, it will stop at some point. The sales figures speak volumes. It will not stay at the January dip of 11.2%. Last month’s surge can only be a temporary rebound as purchasing power plummets and a terrible war rages on the edges of Europe. RAI and Bovag can hope and pray what they want, 2022 will be a disaster year for dealers.

Perhaps beyond the geopolitical circumstances, we should note that the car has become as unaffordable for ordinary people as a house, and that it may never work out for the non-leasing have-nots. No doom-mongering; that’s what you see. Handsome dealer who knows how to talk to the youngest generation of highly educated people in a new car. They have high student debts, don’t get a mortgage, as tenants are dependent on a free sector where slum landlords get the hang of it, of course they earn just too much for rent allowance; it’s a deadly cocktail for the car market.

You don’t think about it every day. Car prices are abstractions. For many business class cars, no piggy bank will be reversed. But especially last year I sometimes widened my eyes above the price lists. How do the importers manage to sell those very expensive small SUVs? Coincidentally, I know that they are bought privately and by whom; the elderly with slightly more spending scope than the younger private buyer with his portfolio emptied by loan systems and landlords. The pain is not present in the over-sixties; home free, children fledged, often still decent pensions. Maybe it was all lease, but the Yaris Cross was the most popular model behind the Peugeot 2008 in January. I thought it was a sign. The rest satisfy their mobility needs with a second-hand car that is as cheap as possible. Every day I understand why.

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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