Thursday, June 13, 2013

Of Utusan, the lying paper and carmakers Volkswagen Golf, Peugeot 308 and Honda Jazz Hybrid, Proton Preve and Perodua Alza

Carmakers refute Utusan’s price slash claim

By Zurairi AR
June 13, 2013
People have a look at the Preve when it was first launched in Kuala Lumpur last year. This Proton model was cited by Utusan as one of several makes of cars where prices have been reduced.KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — Carmakers Volkswagen and Peugeot have both refuted claims of a price slash this year, as reported in Umno-backed broadsheet Utusan Malaysia three days ago as part of proof that the ruling coalition had fulfilled its election pledges.

Utusan had reported that Volkswagen, Peugeot, Honda and local marques Proton and Perodua had reduced the prices for 10 of their models by up to 11 per cent from January this year, presenting the list as proof that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government has fulfilled its pledge for lower car prices in its Election 2013 manifesto.

“Please be advised, the price on the image is incorrect. The Golf price has always been RM157,888 from the time of launch. Not RM169,888,” a representative from Volkswagen Malaysia commented on its Facebook page, referring to its sports hatchback model Golf.

A user had previously posted an image of Utusan’s report, which claimed that the Golf’s price has been slashed by 7.1 per cent from RM169,888 to RM157,888.

Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, a dealer for the German marque confirmed that the Mark 7 1.4 TSI version of the Golf, which was launched earlier this year has always been priced starting from RM157,888.

Peugeot Malaysia also has responded on its Facebook page to the claim by Utusan that the price of its 308 model has been slashed by 11 per cent from RM115,663 to RM102,888.

“Without prejudice, nothing was issued by us, we were not consulted before the article went to print and have no association with the news contained therein. The prices shown appear to be the 308 Turbo pre-facelift and 308 VTi which are in fact two different variants of the Peugeot 308,” said the French marque.

A dealer for Peugeot told The Malaysian Insider that the facelifted 308 VTi has always been priced at RM102,888 since it was launched in the middle of last year, and its 308 Turbo variant is priced at RM121,888.

Utusan also claimed that a Honda Jazz Hybrid now costs RM89,900 after a 2.5 per cent reduction from RM92,187. 

A check with the Japanese marque confirmed that the completely knocked-down (CKD) version of the model assembled in its Alor Gajah plant has always been sold at RM89,900 since its launch late last year. The completely built-up (CBU) version released previously costs RM94,800.

The Malay daily also reported further price cuts for local models Persona, Preve, Saga and Exora from Proton, and Alza, Viva and Myvi from Perodua.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has reiterated his polls pledge to reduce car prices in a tweet late last month, promising that car prices will be reduced in stages until 2017.

On the same day, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed also said that the government had promised to trim car prices between 20 and 30 per cent over five years, as outlined in BN’s election manifesto.

“In fact, since October last year, the price of 10 popular models in the country have come down an average 7.3 per cent,” he told reporters after attending the ministry’s monthly gathering, the first after Mustapa was re-appointed to the Cabinet.

Both BN and opposition Pakatan Rakyat have pledged cheaper car prices in the run up to the May polls, although through different mechanisms.

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