Car factory closures have not affected already low prices yet

Prices of new vehicles of popular makes Toyota, Mazda and Skoda have come down considerably in Estonia, while it is not yet tied to factories being shut down in the coronavirus crisis.

Maren Uibo, head of marketing for Mazda dealer Inchcape Motors Estonia, told ERR that a sales campaign was planned before the crisis. Uibo said that favorable prices are the result of Mazda's Baltic warehouse that holds a wide selection of cars.

"The crisis and states of emergency are in different phases in different countries. Factories are located all over the world, with different models built in different countries. We cannot say yet whether the crisis has passed, while the industry will have changed once that happens," Uibo said, adding that the crisis has already affected manufacturers.

Executive manager for Skoda Tallinn Toomas Kuusk told ERR that Skoda Octavias have especially good prices today because of the arrival of the next generation model.

"Our stockpiles are rather modest at this time because factories have been idle for almost six weeks," Kuusk said, adding that it also affects dealerships in other countries.

He said that sales of new and used Skodas have fallen threefold because dealers didn't have enough cars to sell.

Car sales down 66 percent because of coronavirus

Executive manager of Toyota importer Elke Group Veiko Karu told ERR that the coronavirus has caused the Estonian car market to shrink by 66 percent. Karu added that there were very few new clients in April and that care sales took a very serious hit alongside the tourism sector.

"Most factories in Europe remain closed, meaning we are not getting new cars. It is too early to say what effect this will have," Karu said.

He said that the car industry will continue to have difficulties after the coronavirus crisis passes.

"Because European economies are intertwined, the effects will probably become clear once countries start dialing back measures and restrictions," Karu said.

He added, however, that the second-hand car market has started to pick up instead of new car sales in May.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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