Is used car buying a safe bet in Gumtree South Africa?

As with any other advertising website Gumtree lists stuff that other marketers possess, though is changing its tune much more and becoming far more stylish. Just what are we speaking about, you are probably thinking? Pre-owned Vehicles is the highest significant place a mark on Gumtree, where you can list your automobile as a personal car seller or dealership. Which depends largley who you are actually (car dealership or independent buyer or seller) and the number of cars you would like to upload this can either be paid for or absolutely free.

The key convincing factor of the Gumtree Cars‘ sector has been individual motor vehicle placements for a long period. And even though this gradually evolving, with numerous established market players placing their units of cars on the online listing, private car sellers are still the most dominating. The key reason this is so has long been due to the fact that the requirement for private sellers to  touch base with a massive web audience that Gumtree possesses, who in fact may or may not want to buy an automobile, but could be persuaded into doing so right after they view your advertisement. Some car buyers do not buy cars from private individuals due to the fact that they don’t have any credibility. By using Gumtree, private car sellers will have the credibility that will make car buyers more comfortable with buying from them. For instance, it isn’t too long ago that Gumtree began providing superior quality in the auto industry, which is a considerable difference as compared to These include car brands like Opel, VW, Lexus, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and more. The deficiency of sellers of these who’d usually make contact with a site like us or a car dealer to sell their vehicles was the majority of the problem here. The main goal of Gumtree is to supply dealers an additional way from which sales leads can be achieved, not to compete with dealers for car buyers who would in any other case not purchase from private sellers of Gumtree. And with the total network altogether, private dealers to may get a little bit of notice from a brand new targeted customers. Why is Gumtree so popular to start with , who said they should and exactly where did they come from ? Well , it goes back directly from the days previous to when people begun use of the Internet , when previously paper classifieds were widely used . More than likely you can just remember waiting around on Tuesday for the arrival of the new edition of the Junkmail , the excitement to be the very first individual to buy the newspaper & glance through the lists for the latest in pre-owned discounts . Number one , to contact a seller then set up a viewing has been and is still , a big benefit . But , then extremely stupidly , the CapeAds or Junkmail , ( everything determined by which section of the South Africa you where in ) made the decision that you needed to make your payment to get access to their benefits on the web and obviously , paid for material online has never been successful anyhow. So the marketplace stayed wide open, first of all for buyers, who didn’t want to wait any longer for every new release and then need to pay for the newspaper and next , for sellers who no longer wished to wait a full week to list their items with the phone . For a very long time there were no rivals in the market to fill the gap , and then in stepped Gumtree .co .za . Sellers and buyers can list & advertise whenever & the race right now wasn’t to acquire the paper, however who’s ad was first of the results.

Something to consider, is that you might not get a warranty from a private sale.

Recently plenty of vehicle dealers progressed to gone secretly and attempted to advertise as private people , due to the fact that Gumtree Used Cars has started to bill used car dealers for the benefit of advertising every couple of days . It appears as though the resistance to fee for classified ads over the internet continues on . The majority of people will always pick the less pricey option if they’re trying to buy previously owned goods.

Auto Mart South Africa – fire from the dust of JunkMail Cars

Auto Mart was formed as rivalry in a marketplace controlled by AutoTrader over 10 years ago.  This makes Auto Mart one of the maturest internet companies in SA if you consider that most internet companies have been around for less than 20 years.  At least the website that we all know and buy our used cars from in South Africa, is today a powerhouse.  This wasn’t the scenario when they started out.

From general dealer to expert!

A really successful area of the junk mail paper was the Automotive section, and next to the AutoTrader journal itself, it was without any doubt the most effective area to go to for locating and  buying a used car for yourself.  AutoTrader’s success was because it had existed ten years before JunkMail came to being, although it wasn’t free. JunkMail and CapeAds where free classified – kind of.  Those who wanted their advertisements on either JunkMail or CapeAds, where enabled to list them without any payment, but needless to say, purchasing the paper itself cost a number of rands.  It wasn’t unusual however, usually you’d go and buy the JunkMail just to check if your auto listing was truly in it – therefore they extracted their money out of you sooner or later. That functioned well for everyone.  It satisfied the extremely eager car buyers whose first task of the day was to get their hands on copies of the classified advertising.  Some folks even stored past copies, many weeks old, only to assess if the listed automobiles where still accessible. This suited the bottom dwelling bargain hunters as a used car that remains in the paper for long opens up the seller to negotiate a more favourable price.  This worked like peanut butter and jam, and we-didn’t actually look for alternatives, well not before the www came charging in.

The change in industry was its catalyst.

Yes, it started when mighty JunkMail began to see an extremely rapid decline in its enterprise of marketing second hand products in the paper.  Their paper was circulated every Thursday and letting the public to market their used items in it for free produced JunkMail a success.  The paper would be handed around and phonecalls made and second hand goods were purchased and sold in this manner.  When junk-mail saw their enterprise becoming dated, they joined up using their sister organization CapeAds located in the Western Cape.

The www – Armageddon for JunkMail Cars

And so this program that had been working for well over ten years abruptly felt the pressure of the information highway and it’s absolutely free enterprise model.  Print media, which had to spend editorial groups, printers, and supply of these various papers and mags didn’t see this coming, therefore the threat of the internet did not appear that fatal.  For us, the advantage of not needing to watch for another copy to look at second hand VW deals, meant that we accommodated the web quickly – we just sought for it and found it. there and then.  JunkMail and CapeAds, whose bread-and-butter was printing papers where slow to adapt to the internet or counter the change, thereby damaging them really.  Moreover, many in the company resisted even though the hints where there…  For a while you can access the most recent listings the moment they were printed online, but you nevertheless needed to pay the R18 access fee.  It was cumbersome and catchy.  JunkMail floundered, and virtually joined a long record of other print publications whose bottom lines where extorted by the internet  where new businesses, including Gumtree boomed by being free, and only available on the internet.

All isn’t lost

It was time for a change and also the very best element of JunkMail – in this case the used cars segment, was changed into Auto Mart. What this means is that Auto Mart had an immediate head start to establishing relationships with car dealers and offering them worth.  And so, just over ten years past the Auto Mart web site was registered and opened for business.  It was probably not smooth sailing as well as though they lost plenty of ground to these new adversaries, they could continue together with the area of the paper that attracted the most visitors and turn it in to a feasible used automobile sales device.

BMW leads in sales of the South African luxury car segment

The Numbers

2014 is on track to being the best year for the automotive industry since before the crises of 2008, which is a good reason to celebrate, especially if you are BMW. 2013 full year global sales figures show that the Bavarian native sold a total of 1.5 million cars across all its models. While the most recent stats for South Africa indicate a clear lead of 1107 units sold in January 2014 of the BMW 3 Series, which excludes exports. The next best figures in the luxury segment are that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class with 731 units.

Owing to the above, BMW leads in sales of the South African luxury car segment. Its grip is firmly established with the 320i, and with good reason. In the year 1975, BMW Group (in Germany) made the bold decision to enter the South African car market with full force. The company erected a massive production plant in Rosslyn, near Pretoria. The benefits of this are still felt today – I mean, who doesn’t admire a new BMW passing by. Furthermore, the market for used BMWs is massive, so there’s everything for everyone.

Looking at a global scale, Bloomberg’s Business Week magazine gives us this graph for the year 2013.

This segment is a tightly contested one simply because it is the most profitable. And Audi’s global group, long ran by South Africa native, Dr. Johan de Nysschen (who recently resigned), is the clear contender for BMW’s crown on a worldwide scale.

The Brand

BMW is the Louis Vuitton of automobiles, or even a Rolex; in fact, it’s hardly ever surprising to see a BMW driver spotting both an LV bag and a watch worth nearly as much a small hatchback. However, unlike apparel and accessories, there’s something far greater that makes a BMW so much more of a prized possession. Its iconic Angel Eyes headlights, that kidney-shaped grill, the blue, black and white flag emblem, make the car exude luxury and sportiness. Importantly, being sporty is something its rival, Mercedes-Benz, is only beginning to get right.

As the world’s biggest luxury car maker, there’s a lot of aspirational sentiment that surrounds the marquee, especially among the majority of the car buying population – you and me – who in fact are more likely to buy a lower priced Lexus than an “equivalent” offering from BMW, which can cost a few tens of ‘000s more. What’s in a few thousand, you might ask? What justifies this German car maker to price itself so high, while a next door neighbour like Volkswagen sells its makes and models more affordably?

Yes, BMW has always appealed to people with a bigger budget than the average Joe, but the company, which started out making aeroplane engines almost a century ago, took the decision to divest itself from any plans of being as mainstream as Volkswagen for example, in the year 2000. Its failure to integrate Rover Group, the maker of the iconic Land Rover, which has had various “parents” in the past decade, is the main reason why BMW is solely focused on bringing us premium cars. This information is further detailed in the company’s website.

However, what made financial sense at the turn of this century might not be so credible in 2014, where countless millions of people are moving up into the middle class, in numbers never seen before in history. Therefore, it makes sense for BMW to offer something to those people too, a piece of that luxury, but without diluting the manufacturer’s exclusivity. Enter the BMW 1 Series and X1. If BMW is the ultimate driving machine, then the 1 Series and X1 are the ultimate affordable cars. Of the 1 Series, BMW says, “BMW applies the hallmarks of the brand – exceptional driving dynamics and premium quality – to the compact segment.” It continues that the compact is, “…the only vehicle in its class to feature a traditional Drivetrain Setup, with the engine at the front, and the drive at the rear. This system ensures a more even distribution of weight, and improves traction. As such, the BMW 1 Series is unmistakeable as a BMW model, while offering all the benefits of the compact segment.”

The thing to take from reading this is that BMW is without a doubt the champion of everything one wants from an automobile – exquisite looks inside and out, incredible functionality and performance, and that ego-boosting feeling that gets onlookers asking why does this one have a smirk on his or her face.

You can find more BMW resources on the following links

Critics of VW Sales Strategy in South Africa and USA

The biggest critic of any car maker should be its customers – you and me who buy the cars. It becomes very troubling when an insider suddenly becomes the most vocal critic of a big brand, such as Volkswagen’s Bernd Osterloh. It’s American subsidiary has began a strategy that could accelerate US sales of Volkswagen’s popular hatchbacks and sedans to just over one millions units sold per year. The problem however, is that the strategy of VW USA has not gained any traction. Instead, the opposite has happened. Here in South Africa however, the situation has been the exact opposite. New cars sales grow better and better, and second hand Volkswagens for sale are pushing the company’s profile forward.

While VW may have an exceptionally brilliant range of cars, they do lack what’s really needed in both the American and South Africa market. Let me explain. At the recent Detroit Auto Show, a writer from Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek magazine revealed he heard industry insiders saying VW was egotistical, expensive, and boring, indeed “not the type of brand associations a marketer might shoot for.” Volkswagen’s shining star in South Africa is the Polo and the Polo Vivo. There’s no doubt the Golf and Jetta are superior vehicles, but they’re a bit too pricey for the average South Africa car buyer.

In 2010, VW introduced the Amarok. This was their answer to Toyota’s Hilux and Ford’s Ranger, which have dominated the market for bakkies for a very long time. In December 2013 alone, the Hilux and Ranger’s unit sales where about 10 and 5 times [respectively] more than those of the Amarok. Car reviews all round rate VW’s offering as a great bakkie, but it’s just not finding love from SA’s 25% market share of the car buying population. And similarly, in the United States, where bakkies or trucks as they call them, are very popular. This is more reason that shows American officials are lacking the right vision for the future.

The VW Jetta and Passat compete for the same pockets as the Toyota Corolla-buying population. The Jetta is the Golf’s sedan version, but it just doesn’t get the right numbers to propel it past what Corolla can sell in just one month (on average). In December 2013, the sales of Corolla where over 3 times more than those of the Jetta.

And again in both South Africa and the USA, VW doesn’t have a formidable compact SUV. Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of sales for this segment to justify the roll-out of a model. VW’s German rival, BMW, gave us the X1 a few years ago, which unfortunately has since been a failure on the sales front. It’s given way to the likes of the Nissan Juke and Ford’s Kuga as an entry-level big car. Some may argue that as a VW division, Audi’s Q3 is the parent company’s entry into this fast growing segment. This may be true for profits, but it doesn’t do much for VW’s own brand value, whose sentimental value is partly what makes us buy their cars. More investment needs to go to the VW Tiguan.

There might be a lot of bashing for Volkswagen, but it is still the world’s third largest car maker by sales, and once the world’s largest company by value during the not so distant dark days of the world economic crisis. Today, the Polo and Polo Vivo are unchallenged as South Africa’s most popular cars. Whether you visit a dealer for a new one, or get a second hand Volkswagen on or any other online platform, Big Blue dominates. The strategy in South Africa is working overall, and Americans would do best to look at the example which we have set.