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Parts and Parcel: Kinsey Report 2010

Our methodology for the annual Kinsey Report has remained unchanged for two decades – all prices were sourced in writing during the same calendar month and discrepancies were checked, usually by queries to one or two different dealerships. If this didn’t solve the puzzle, a check on the dealer computer or, as a last resort, a phone call to the manufacturer/importer, sorted out the problem...

As well as double-cabs, another increasingly important segment is the one for ‘crossover’ vehicles and it is a varied mix, spanning fairly basic modest-spec vehicles – such as the Nissan Lavina and the Toyota Avanza – to some high-tech offerings like the VW Tiguan. Some venture close to a retail price of half a million rand, but they all do the job. The trick is to choose which vehicles meet your needs and price range and then evaluate the comparative price baskets. We’ve often had requests for a bakkie survey, so this, at least, is a small step in that direction. They are versatile machines, covering ground as workhorses, leisure vehicles and moms’ taxis.

There are often price anomalies, but there are reasons for these and wherever possible we have tried to indicate on the chart where an item is more expensive. Some price differences appear baffling. For instance, spark plug prices vary enormously but this is attributed to the fact that some plugs are changed at 15 000 km intervals while others can have a lifespan of 100 000 km before requiring replacement.

Front bumper skins may vary from a modest plastic bumper to the complete front of the vehicle (Renault Clio) with accordingly different costs. Rear fenders on many vehicles these days begin at the front door and extend right back to the tail lights (which makes the fitting and final integrity of a repair much more accurate), but this again will cost far more than a smaller rear-end fender.

Windscreens and rear windows also come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and levels of sophistication, with rain sensors, heater wires, aerials and the like all adding to the price. Some dealerships do not stock a full range of glass products, preferring to call in outside help, usually in the form of PG Glass. This is often the case when the original imported glass is very expensive and an approved local equivalent is available. Moreover, windscreen fitment is a highly specialised job.

It must be noted that we cannot compare every make and model available – it would simply make the charts too cumbersome. However, the pricing trend remains true to the make of vehicle, so if one derivative is competitive, chances are that the rest of the range is similar. The models chosen in this study are generally the volume sellers rather than niche vehicles.

Retail prices of vehicles have not increased dramatically in the past year, and parts prices have had their usual ups and downs. One company that has been able to reduce parts pricing quite significantly is Citroën. It now shares a central warehouse under the Peugeot Citroën SA banner, which has resulted in a reduction of many parts prices.

Nett pricing has become more common in the motor industry. This means the dealerships no longer give ‘trade’ discounts either for cash sales or to independent garages or panel beaters. In these situations it is usual for a mark-up of between 20 and 30% to be applied to the costs shown in these charts if the parts are resold by a garage or panel beater to the customer.

2010 Kinsey Report

Twenty years old and growing, the latest Kinsey Report has a new sixth category that looks at some of the most popular double-cabs in South Africa.

Entry Level up to R120 000

Gone is the legendary VW Citi, multiple winner of SA’s Most Affordable Car category, and this gives the Renault Sandero the top position for 2010, with the Chevrolet Spark and Hyundai i10 in pursuit. Six countries are represented in the eight-vehicle mix.

The main feature of this segment is that the lowest basket price is much higher than before since all the players are now modern designs, which invariably means more complex bodywork and fancy light clusters.

In the service parts section – plugs, filters, brake pads/shoes, wipers – the Spark comes out on top, closely followed by Chery and Tata. Likewise in the repair parts section the Spark is the most cost-effective, this time ahead of the Chery and Kia Picanto.

Interestingly, taken as the percentage of parts basket/selling price, only the last two vehicles are not in the same order as the parts basket cost totals.

B Segment R120 000 - R175 000

This is another cosmopolitan group of vehicles, headed by the new VW Polo 1.4 and followed by the Hyundai i20 and the Fiat Grand Punto. Citroën C3, in fourth place, has improved from previous years. Like the ‘cheapies’, this group has high volume sellers so is of interest to many consumers.

Service parts again are best priced for the Chevrolet brand (this time with the Aveo), which has a selection priced substantially below the next two: the Toyota Yaris and Hyundai i20.

Aveo also has the least expensive repair costs, with the Polo and the i20 in second and third. The VW Polo is well ahead in the crash parts section, the Hyundai i20 and Fiat Grand Punto following.

In this segment the first two places are the same in both parts basket totals and parts basket percentage.

C Segment R175 000 - R275 000

There are 10 vehicles in this important section and for the third time in a row the Nissan Tiida comes out on top, a whisker ahead of the Alfa MiTo (included as it is Alfa’s top-selling vehicle) and the Ford Focus 1.8.

In the service segment, the Renault Clio leads the Chevrolet Cruze and Tiida for best basket totals. The Cruze is strongest in repair parts by a mere R900 from the Alfa, with the Focus in third position. The crash parts segment again sees the Nissan heading the list with Alfa second and the Mazda3 third (where it narrowly beats its stablemate, the Focus, into fourth).

In the percentage stakes the first four in the basket totals are again the top four, but in a different order – Alfa (by virtue of its higher selling price) ahead of Tiida, Mazda third (again the selling price affects the calculation) and Focus fourth.

Crossover

This is really a hotchpotch category, so much so that we’re not going to proclaim ‘winners’ because of the diversity of specifications, technology, size and price of the vehicles. This category is included more for interest than for comparison – though if you choose similarly priced vehicles, valid comparisons may be made.

The Toyota Avanza and Nissan Lavina are both fairly basic and as expected, have the lowest parts basket (and the lowest selling price). Vehicles with high-tech features include the Chevrolet Captiva, Peugeot 3008 (with self-levelling hydraulic shocks), VW Tiguan (supercharged and turbocharged engine) and some are 4x4 like the Land Rover Freelander and Subaru Forester.

Double-Cabs

This is a new category and selling prices vary considerably, from R233 700 (Nissan NP 300) to R394 300 for the Isuzu KB.

Topping the list is the Mazda BT 50, closely followed by the Ford Ranger 3.0, again stablemates and very similar designs. There are many similarities and their service and repair parts are identically priced. Only in the crash parts are there a few parts to distinguish them and minimally change the parts basket total. Third is the NP 300.

In service parts, the Ford and Mazda twins head up this section with Nissan less than R100 behind. The positions change for the repair parts though as the Isuzu and the Mitsubishi Triton are substantially better than the third-placed Mazda and Ford. Taking the podium places in crash parts are Mazda, Ford and Nissan. Using the percentage calculation, Ford pips Mazda, followed by Isuzu and Triton.

Family Saloon

In this group all the vehicles are automatics, which helps to make more accurate comparisons. The winner here is the Mazda6, followed by a more competitive Volvo S40 and BMW 320d completing the podium. BMW and Mazda swap places in the percentage stakes.

The cheapest to service are Volvo, Honda Accord and Mercedes C200, but if repairs are needed the Mazda is strongest followed by Volvo and BMW. In crash parts, the Mazda6 is well clear of the BMW and Volvo, the latter pair only some R300 apart.

In the percentage calculation, the BMW (with a higher selling price) is able to pip the Mazda6, with third position going to the Accord.

Kinsey Report Methodology
Kinsey Report Methodology
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