Friday, October 28, 2005

Ramadhan car shopping

There's a city down there!

I don't know if it's the case in other countries, but for some reason Ramadhan is THE time to buy a car in Oman. Is it because they feel it's a blessed time of the year to buy a car or or is it just because the dealers keep their best offers till Ramadhan.. who knows. Car dealers go crazy, for example the Toyota dealer is giving away a Corolla a day for the whole month. I never understood the appeal of entering a competition when the price of entry is buying car. Why not give some real value to the buyer instead. I don't want to buy a car to win another car.

Anyhow, towards the end of Ramadhan for the past few years we like to play pretend and go car shopping like all our fellow citizens. Two years ago it was for a 4X4 to be used as a second car. The year before it was for a small econo-compact to use for work. Didn't buy either, but who knows maybe this year will be the one I actually bite the bait and actually buy one.

This year I've been thinking what to do about my car. If I were to sell or trade-in my BMW, I probably can't afford to go for another one- not that I like any of the current BMWs (except for the 6 series). I'd want my next car to have 6 cylinders. It should have good resale value which means I can use it for a few years and then sell it without losing too much value. But at the same time it has to be a trouble free car that's actually fun to drive. I'm surprised by how few the options are.

Basically if you want to a car with a good resale value you have to cross out all non-Japanese cars as well as Japanese cars which are considered by Omanis to be of lower quality or those which the dealer's reputation isn't highly regarded, like Mitsubishi. The options are: Nissan Altima 3.5, Toyota Avalon and Infiniti G35. I crossed out the Camry from the list because they're just too common and way too boring. Slim pickings, eh?

The Nissan Altima is a pretty good deal. It has 250 hp with lots of options. It's supposed to be a fun car to drive. The only downside is that the dealer here doesn't bring it with navigation or a premium sound system. The Toyota Avalon is a bigger car with 280hp. It comes out with all the options except for navigation. Say what you want about the Avalon, it's not a good looking car but it's value for money: It has leather ventilated seats, keyless entry and start, for almost the same price as the Altima. The Infiniti G35 is a smaller car, more the size of a BMW 3 series than a 5 series like the others. It's got plenty of power too, 289hp, and lots of options. Best of all it's rear wheel drive, which is a huge plus. Like the other two, it doesn't have GPS navigation. I guess car dealers in Oman think Omani car buyers are idiots who wouldn't know what to do with GPS.

The price of all three cars is approximately RO. 12000. Amazingly, 7 years ago when I bought my car the price of a BMW 523 was 12000 and a 528 was going for 15,500. Nowadays the only BMW you can get for 12000 is a 1 series.

Note: the pic above is from the basement of the new Toyota showroom which might turn out to be one of the largest showrooms in the world.

11 comments:

OceanDream said...

I looooove our annual pretending to buy a car trips! They are so much fun. When Mux was looking at the Nissan Altima, I was a few rows down drooling over the Infinity FX35. Aaaaaah. What a beauty. Thats a car I'd definately buy if I had 17k to spare. Such a nice car. Inshallah after we build the house, furnish it, set aside money for Faisal's education, etc etc, we might be able to buy it :)

NiGhTFaCe said...

I like the sound system in the Toyota Avalon, its JBL.


If the price reaches up to that, so better think of the Nissan Morano, its about O.R 13k.

muscati said...

I didn't like the Murano that much. I prefered the Infiniti FX35 version of the car which is out of my hypothetical price range.

I asked the salesman at Toyota about the stereo in the Avalon and he said they don't bring the ones with JBL speakers. Maybe he's wrong?

Btw, did you know in the US the average of an Avalon buyer is 67 years?!

Wardat_il'7leej said...

Alfa Romeo? a fun and practical ride....i miss my old car :(

Islander said...

i agree with you car dealers in Oman think Omani car buyers are idiots who wouldn't know what to do with GPS.

the story happned to me 2 weeks ago with MHD jaguar dealer. i went there with my friend who was eager to buy a jaguar. they had GPS as an option in the S type but the omani dealer said : GPS is not worthy!!!, it only works like a DVD player!!! it has that map on DVD so its not accurate in acquiring position!!! beside the foreigner who drew oman street map by driving through the streets!!! is not genious, u must know oman streets better than him!!!!

At that moment i was about to blast laughing but i managed to hold my self.

now who is the idiot here ? does he think we know nothing about this GPS and how it works?
unfortunately he was talking to someone who works daily with a more complicated equipment than GPS ;)

Kamakazy said...

my cousin who works for a finance company said that 40% of car sales of the whole year happens during Ramadhan!!!

Mindazi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mindazi said...

Sounds just like Black Friday in the US
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(shopping)
40% is a lot...

Mindazi said...

By the way the G35 sedan is a freaking awesome car.
It really does handle better than the coupe.

Alexis Preatori said...

The G35 car from Infinity looks so wonderful even with it high price. A good car should have a good resale value, keep that in mind every time you buy a new car.
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Mike Anderson said...

I didn't knew that Muslim's also sell cars? By the way that G35 model there is great and I want to have it.

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