Cars that crush you broke

Here’s an interesting video I went through.

It made obvious two important points:

1. Car ownership doesn’t really that cheap even in the US (high interest rates, shorter tenure and costly service charges)
2. Car ownership can either benefit you or crush your financial future

There are new engineers coming to my workplaces. Newly graduated, may or may not be so interested and energetic and overly-ambitious to work in a nation-wide vehicle-of-choice manufacturer.

I can possibly determine what in their minds now, or at least some or most of them. In a few months, or next year, they’ll get themselves a new car. As a status quo or a symbol of success or something.

And get into the one way road of a debt-hell.

As youth today, especially the Gen-X that I’m in and Gen-Y later, their self-exhibiting nature will render any object they own representing them, or whatever they want to be, or not. You can’t never seems to understands.

They’ll be debt slaves. Basic trimmed cars won’t be in much demand nowadays. Less so with the youths that just started working and getting their hands on their own money. They’ll go to whatever maximum loan they can get, the highest trimmed and coolest variant of car they can drive.

Malaysian Automotive Institute’s CEO, Mr Mohamad Madani Sahari was right and I am truly agree when he made this statement:

He was responding to this article by

Jalopnik could be more careful in comparison. The car they compared is not even people’s car and subjected to high grey-importers and official dealer’s agreed profit margin.

Why? Contrary to popular believes, yes, some of the models in Thailand and Indonesia like Toyota Vios and Honda City are cheaper. But that mainly because theirs have cheaper variants that is not as well equipped as what Malaysian gets. Because Malaysian wants everything in their car for a price of motorbike.

While the popular choice cars I mentioned is Japanese branded, it is assembled and made, or partially made (as in the case of CKD) in Asean. Asean and Malaysian assembled Japanese-branded cars have duty exemptions and only few luxury models reaches 100% tax imposed. Please refer to custom’s website for the information.

As a fact, our local company, now privatized under DRB-Hicom, produced the cheapest sedan in Asean, and yes, in it’s most basic form. At just short of RM34000, no other sedans in South East Asia is this cheap, with twins airbags and powered-windows some more. Yes, it is the Proton Saga SV.

You can mention Indonesian Datsun GO+ Panca, with starting price of just below RM24000 for the cheapest. You should also mention that while it has two small extra seats, it doesn’t have any airbags, air-conditioner, radio and powered-windows as standard. India recently rates this car as 0-star on safety. You can’t even think of how it’s puny little 68hp 1.2 litre engine can cope-up with the traffic.

Heck, even the newly Perodua Axia in it’s basic form has Air-cond and powered-windows.

Thailand? What the cheapest car Honda sold there, locally assembled? Take Honda Brio, an entry level hatchback. If Honda were to sell this car here, it will tarnish the very status they enjoyed in Malaysia, an will send their reputation down the drain overnight, at least at current mindsets Malaysian are having.

At RM43000 starting price, airbags is no where to be found. But you can have it if you opt for a higher spec. At the age where local automakers rolling out Axia and Iriz that at the same price, features lists of accessories and safety packages like reverse sensors, front sensors, ABS brakes, airbags, and Stability Control (Iriz has this on it’s cheapest variant), we can’t comprehend why big car makers can’t.

But still, these points won’t make into Malaysian mind-set so easily. They still blame the tax for anything, other than their own lust to have their hold on their dream car. Blinded of financial-prudence, they’ll make the move towards the debt-hell every time.

Thanks to the move by Bank Negara, it is no more that easy to have loans approved, and that means, most loans are approved not beyond somebody’s ability to pay it in long term.


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