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Save a penny with pre-owned cars

Sales and Marketing Manager at Select Cars, Ernest Thatcher

Sales and Marketing Manager at Select Cars, Ernest Thatcher

According to Ernest Thatcher, Sales and Marketing Manager at Select Cars, pre-owned vehicle sales have gone down in comparison to last year. “Although our sales have gone down, we are fortunate enough to still be doing business and are much better off than our competitors who find themselves almost out on business.”
He said that the reason for this is because they maintain their strategy of selling high quality cars at an affordable price for an ordinary Namibian citizen that earns from about N$ 5,000 to N$ 20,000 a month.
Select cars mostly sell imports from Japan, the UK and Singapore which he said is more beneficial as they come with certain features such as anti-lock braking systems and central locking as standard items on all cars. “On the local cars, these are features that need to be added and imports are often of better quality. “These imports are high graded and come at a price of 20% to 25% below the market price which at the end is a good price for our customers as they pay less for excellent quality at a deposit of as little as a thousand dollars.”
Thatcher said they aim to provide their customers   not only with quality vehicles but also a wide range of marques and models. He said that although their sales have dropped from last year’s average of 60 to 70 cars a month, the 45 to 50 that they sell presently, are still adequate. “The economy and people are finding themselves in a tight financial position’ he said.
Thatcher emphasised that there is a solid market in quality pre-owned vehicles but that the number of dealers is high, and competition is fierce. “A pre-owned car is always easier on the pocket of the ordinary Namibian, with deposits ranging from zero to N$5000, but the dealer that supplies quality has the edge.”
Elaborating on the cost of transport versus the cost of ownership, he said “Taxi fair is very costly and one person can spend up to N$800 per month. For families, taxi fares become even more expensive. “If four members in a family put their taxi fares together, they must probably consider buying a car.
“At this point in time where the market is tight, most people cannot afford to pay a deposit of N$20,000 to N$30,000 as well as a monthly installment of N$3,000 to N$4,000 therefore pre-owned cars are a bargain,”  stressed Thatcher.
Describing the natural sales cycle, he said May was the worst month this year and August was also bad but sales are expected to pick up from September to December. “We can owe some of this decline in sales to the fact that we were a bit low on stock earlier this year and we have also lost our Singapore market which compromised 40% of its import market.”
Thatcher told the Economist that the Singapore market has changed its regulations because of the recession  and are therefore concentrating on strengthening trade relations with the UK.
Select Cars offers its own in-house warranties and has its own workshop. It offers after-sale and full-car service before selling any car. He said, because of the all-in-one service they offer, they have maintained a constant client base adding that they have clients that have bought from them, seven cars in twelve years.
Thatcher said that their most popular brands are Nissan, Toyota and Subaru. Select cars has two branches in Windhoek, as well as one in Swakopmund. For financing, they are associated with Bank Windhoek, Standard Bank and Wesbank.

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