There’s nothing like a Fieldays’ special to bring out the buyers.
NEXT week is National Fieldays ... you all know what that means.
The annual annual farming and agricultural trade show, opening on June 15, is the largest in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere, attracting more than 120,000 visitors each year.
Which means? Well, for vehicle distributors – especially those with models that conform to country operation – it’s become a sales goldmine.
Fieldays and the associated promotional activities that surround it now play a significant role in the performance of the new vehicle market, so much so that for the past few years June has become the biggest sales month for one-tonne utilities.
What can buyers expect this time? As the show gets set to roll into the Mystery Creek, Waikato, venue, MotoringNetwork has taken the opportunity to canvas the key sector players to get a grip on what’s on offer. If nothing else, we figured it would save prospective vehicle buyers some shoe leather – or should that be gumboot rubber? – in their trudge around the massive venue.
Responses were sought on five key questions: What model or models within their ranges are to be subject to Field Days ‘special’ activity; what are the details of the those actions (discounted price, added equipment and so on); what are the time periods associated with those specials; what are the the volume expectations from these actions and, finally, why is Fieldays so important to their brand?
Not all brands responded and some that did chose not to answer every question.
The stand-out for declining to reply was Ford New Zealand, whose Ranger has been the crowd favourite ute for the best two years, including being New Zealand’s top-selling vehicle in 2015. On current monthly counts, it looks set to keep that crown in 2016. But what it has in store to stir things up next week? Well, you’re going to have to ask them.
Those that did take part, and the responses they provided, are listed below, in alphabetical order to avoid any suggestion of preferential treatment.
General manager of corporate affairs Ed Finn explains that his brand has a brand new site this year, occupying plots (J38,J40, J42). He says Holden plans to offer ‘Feildays sharp deals’ across the range.
The existing Colorado ute range will be front and centre, of course, but as this is on the verge of runout, Holden has shipped in a design study that points to what the update arriving later this year will deliver.
Holden has indicated that the general styling cues of the Colorado Xtreme (right) are an accurate preview of what is coming to the showroom and about 70 percent of the accessories featured on this show truck will be coming too. Interestingly it is being touted as a Holden for Field Days – in its first public showing, the Bangkok motor show in April, it was a liveried as Chevrolet (because that’s the GM brand in Thailand, where the ute is built).
Fieldays will also be the debut two special editions. There’s the Coloraro 7 Trailblazer – a spruce-up of the current model and not to be confused with a show truck of the same name that was also at Bangkok to preview the next version of this wagon (which, even more confusingly, will be called the Trailblazer).
The show also debuts a limited count Commodore, the so-called ‘Black Edition’. The latter will be limited to just 130 vehicles, consisting of 90 SV6 and 40 V8 SS sedans, kitted with visual enhancements plus sat nav and a head-up display, the latter being a first-time provision for the SV6.
Former All Black Stephen Donald will be on the stand on the Thursday and Friday.
Isuzu heavy trucks are also part of the Holden presence. These are on
sites I39,41 and 43 (directly beside Holden). The focus there is specifically on the Giga Premium Interior pack, an optional extra, a new light 4x4 N Series truck with greater GVM capacity (at 7500kg) than the previous model, a new medium F Series range that meets Euro V without requiring Ad Blue of DPD/DPF technology, a CYZ460 Tipper from the VC36 Giga range featuring 7200kg front axle and silent Magnetic Driveline Retarder plus the medium 4x4 and Light factory Tipper range.
South Korea’s biggest and most powerful car brand traditionally has the biggest presence at Mystery Creek and the only change this year is that it’s landmark facility has grown even larger.
It’s a massive effort but entirely about feel-good, a chance to meet and greet csutomers and treat them to preferential parking, free shuttle rides and some refreshments.
But don’t hold out for show special prices. Says boss Andy Sinclair: “We will continue with our normal range of cars. We don’t have Fieldays specials advertised.
“We are there to give back something to our customers … we want to give them the very best experience.”
That means Hyundai-only carparks with shelter areas in case of rain and have karts running owners to and from the company encampment, where there’s refreshment and opportunity to hang out and chat.
“We have free coffee for all but we also cater over that period for thousands of our customers. It’s our chance for us to give something back to them and to say thankyou for being a Hyundai customer.
“For everyone else? Well, hopefully they will see how well we treat our customers and be keen to be Hyundai owners too, for that reason.”
Asked about Hyundai’s past sales success at Feildays, Sinclair responded: “Sales always come if you look after your customers. It’s as simple as that.”
As for discounting? Sinclair says he has no time for it, especially if it becomes a practice associated with a particular event. That not only sets an unhealthy short term sales trend – with customers holding buying a car because they know a better price is coming – but it also devalues a brand’s status and, ultimately, alienates the buyer base through hastening the depreciation.
“I see it like this: As a customer, how are you going to feel if you saw that a vehicle you bought in March was suddenly $10,000 cheaper? What does that do for brand equity and for the value of what is your second most expensive asset?”
Isuzu Utes NZ:
Zero deposit and 7.9 percent interest on all D-Max and MU-X models, with an up to 48 month term, is the salient deal from this brand, marketing manager Gareth Lowndes says. The offer runs to September 30. Associated with this, opportunity to lease an LS double cab from $329 plus GST per month, again subject to terms and conditions. The offer ends on July 31. There are also accessory pack deals.
“We will have over 30 vehicles on display with different configurations set up on various models,” Lowndes says. “The Isuzu four-wheel-drive test track returns this year – the public gets the chance to get behind the wheel to experience what the D-Max and MU-X can do.”
Though it has chosen not to take a stand at Mystery Creek, Mazda New Zealand is nonetheless advertising promotional pricing on two rear-drive manual double cab BT-50 models for sales concluding in the period ending at close of business on June 30. The GLX is at $33,695, which is $8000 below regular retail, while the GSX is $36,595, down from $45,295. Both prices exclude on-roads. Says marketing services manager Maria Tsao: “Mazda dealers will be happy to talk to customers for pricing on other models.”
Past Fieldays have been great for the Triton ute, delivering definite sales spikes, so when you’re on a good thing then why change the formula?
Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand was first to announce its Fieldays’ strategy, The Triton Charger-X, an upgrade of the premium GLS, was announced on May 13 and though the 300-unit consignment’s arrival was delayed until a couple of weeks ago, by the start of this week 58 had already been sold.
The derivative costs $49,9901 with a payback deal of $499 per month. The opportunity seems set to close at the end of the month, or presumably when stocks run out, whatever occurs first.
Mitsubishi head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook is confident this model will give Triton a big boost. It takes a leather interior with power driver’s seat and a seven inch touch screen featuring satellite navigation and reversing camera. A unique decal package also differentiates it from the GLS.
Great deals are promised – but you have to be there to benefit.
That’s the outline of SsangYong’s strategy. Sales and marketing manager Warren Willmot is promising sharp deals associated with the event, but says these are only for the four days and only at Mystery Creek.
“The pricing is kept secret, even from our salespeople, until the morning of the show. We're expecting to genuinely sell over 100-plus vehicles from our site.”
New vehicles on display by this fast-growing marque include the Tivoli XLV and a Rexton with the 2.2-litre Euro 6 compliant engine, married to a seven-speed transmission from Mercedes-Benz.
Full finance and leasing services are provided on site and every new customer will personally be introduced to the owners of SsangYong and LDV New Zealand. The marque is also laying on its Sir Colin Meads VIP tavern and restaurant for existing SsangYong and LDV customers. It expects to feed more than 1200 customers.
“Fieldays is a significant sales event for us, so we make the investment for the folks who travel to Mystery Creek,” says Willmot.
Here’s another brand that has traditionally counted on June being its best months for ute sales.
With Hilux having so far only achieved a higher monthly count than Ranger just once so far this year, doubtless the pressure will be on the site, on the corner of L Road and C Street (site C71).
Spokesman Morgan Dilks says it’s not just about Hilux. Eleven derivatives of that model will be on display however “we might even potentially have our brand new Corolla Hatch Hybrid on display, as well as a new Land Cruiser 70-Series.”
The Fieldays’ sale strategy means all new models carry three years’ servicing, three years’ warranty and three years’ AA Roadservice. On top of this, Hilux specifically has a three percent per annum finance rate. Plus, an exclusive Hilux Swanndri. There’s also a special $349 per month lease deal for the PreRunner derivative.
Time to talk Amarok, but not so much about the incoming V6 that will give the end-of-year update a big status lift so much as the stockpile of current four-cylinder versions that needs to be shifted first.
The deals are on the four-wheel-drive Trendline, whose event-associated special price of $49,990 for the manual represents a $9000 saving over list. Alternately, the auto derivative carries a free accessory pack that VW New Zealand has valued at $9900. This comprises 20- inch DTM Scorpion alloys, a lightweight and lockable sportlid and a non-skid sport-guard tray liner, a bonnet weathershield and window weathershields.
The distributor is also offering lease deals on the Amarok Highline, the rear-drive being available at $199 per week and the four-wheel-drive from $249 per week.
There are also lease and finance packages for the Polo small hatch (Comfortline, Highline, GTI), the Caddy and the Tiguan medium crossover. Just bear in mind that the replacement for the latter is very close to launch.
All offers expire at the end of this month.
Speaking of new models. The stand will include fresh inclusions to the brand family in the form of the Golf GTi Edition 40 and two Golf wagons, the Golf R Wagon Wolfsburg Edition and the Golf Wagon NZ Olympic Edition. There are 25 of the latter, which retail for $39,990 and carry $4500 worth of extras (17-inch charcoal alloys wheels, leather seats with embossed NZ Olympic logo, tinted windows and NZ Olympic badging).
Display vehicles include two Amaroks - ‘Rokky’, the so-called Hunters’ Club edition, and another dressed up like a Christmas Tree – plus a VW California van, the modern-day equivalent of the Kombi, all set up for camping. The first Transporter Dropside in the country will also be there.