05/09/2020 - 11:28
The Ford F150 pickup has been, for several years, the best-selling vehicle in the United States, in turn the largest automotive market in the world, with nearly 20 million zero kilometer units per year. In this competitive environment, with taxes less than 10% , the top version of the F150, the new Raptor, is listed on E-Bay at $ 59,976 . In Argentina the Raptor is coming: the dealerships are taking purchase orders for this second semester, at a higher nominal price than in the United States: $ 85,000. But for calling buyers, the actual price ends up being 20% cheaper than in the United States .
In fact, today the list prices of the cars became just a reference, since they are quoted according to the official dollar of 68.75 pesos per unit. In the case of the Raptor, with this value of the dollar, the concessionaire should bill it at 5.9 million pesos, which is equivalent to just under $ 49,000 in the informal market. So thanks to the "auto dollar", the Raptor is cheaper in Argentina, where taxes represent 54.8% of the price of a vehicle , than in the United States, where average taxes are 7.5%.
The Audi Q5 starts at $ 66,000. But invoiced in pesos to the official dollar, it is equivalent to US $ 37,000 "blue" dollars.
That double standard also applies to the cheapest units. For example, today a Volkswagen Gol Trendline has a list price of 1 million pesos but, with the discounts that some dealerships apply, a buyer with dollars in hand could purchase it for just over $ 6,000 .
But the concrete thing is that, since the end of April, what is being registered in many dealerships is the sale of the most expensive models. As on many other occasions, between 2011 and 2015, high-end cars became a haven of value , only the Covid-19 reduced that trend to its minimum: for this month, about 11,000 patents are expected, against an average 30,000 in the (bad) months following the PASO elections.
"Today the most popular Alfa Romeo models are Stelvio and Giuliettas," said Hugo Belcastro , who is the representative in Argentina of the Alfa Romeo, Isuzu, Baic and Foton brands , but also has a dealership for the Audi, Volkswagen and Honda brands . "At Audi, the most requested models are SUVs, like the Q5 and Q3 , and cars like the A3 and A1, " he added.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio. List price from US $ 74,800. Pesified price, equivalent to US $ 43,000 blue dollars.
At Hyundai , another imported brand, demand is focused on a "cheap" model, such as the Kona Style . "We attribute it in part to the novelty and also to the list price of $ 31,000," said Ernesto Cavicchioli , vice president of the brand in the country. "But it is evident that the gap issue is also helping. We buy and sell at the official exchange rate . Our dollar today is 68.75, but we receive pesos. So the final price is 31,000 x 68.75, " he detailed. Calculator in hand, a buyer with enough weights can then get that model for what it would cost $ 18,000 in the "blue" market.
Hyundai Kona Style, at $ 18,000 "blue".
Hernán Dietrich , Ford and Volkswagen dealer , said they are receiving inquiries for all models. And that the striking thing is the number of interested in the highest range. "At Ford, we used to sell about four F150s per month and now we have gone to eight , and the reserves for models like the Volkswagen Golf or Tiguan have also increased, " he explained. "The F150 Raptor is also in high demand , which is coming," he added.
The "auto dollar" is already installed in advertising campaigns. The Auto Ferro dealership is promoting the Nissan Versa at 874,000 pesos, the same as its list price. But the ad offers an implicit 40% discount for anyone offering dollars on hand: "Without much thought, there are 48 hours left to react. $ 1: $ 120," the ad says.
Volkswagen Tiguan. The only 0km version available (250 DSG) has a list price of 2.8 million pesos, equivalent to $ 23,000 "blue".
The truth is that even those who have the dollars know that they will have to wait months until they can have their new car in the garage , since the automotive registers reopened halfway. "Today you can patent an ambulance, or those cars that had already been sold before quarantine," Dietrich said. "But normal patenting, with the presence of the client, continues to stop ."
Belcastro, who is also the owner of the Chamber of Importers and Official Distributors of Automotive (CIDOA), said they have their workshops open, but only for customers who can circulate with permission. And that sales were activated in the last days. "Only at the end of April there was movement, with the opening of the workshops and the delivery of some units from the automotive terminals," said the businessman. " We are even selling trucks . The Isuzu brand is selling very well," he said.
Dietrich noted that despite opportunity purchases, the volume is very low. "The dealerships continue with six months of unsold stock , so all the brands are on sale . The only difference at the moment is that the high-end is moving in a greater proportion."