Posted 20 июля 2021,, 14:24

Published 20 июля 2021,, 14:24

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Buy now or wait: when the new cars become cheaper

20 июля 2021, 14:24
Good news for motorists: Taiwanese microchip maker TSMC predicted a reduction in chip shortages for the automotive industry this quarter. But it will only be possible to get rid of it completely in 2022. Does this mean that there is only a year left to wait until prices for foreign cars drop?

Victoria Pavlova

After all, such news gives hope that the car market will finally be saturated with cars, and people will again be able to choose the car they like at an affordable price and without queues. In the meantime, demand outstrips supply. We have to take what they give on the terms set by manufacturers and dealers. In the best traditions of the deficit of the Soviet era.

If the current trends continue (as you know, in Russia prices are easily raised, but almost never reduced), the car runs the risk of again moving from a vehicle to the luxury category. Why cars are becoming more expensive almost as quickly as carrots, and whether there is any hope for affordable personal transport - Novye Izvestia found out together with the vice-president of the National Automobile Union Anton Shaparin.

With the 2020 deficit, everything is very clear: a pandemic, uncertainty, factories were idle. However, in 2021, as strange as it may sound, the small chips used by millions in home and wearable electronics have caused big problems for automakers. Many factors have come together: the production of chips is concentrated in the hands of several Asian companies (TSMC is the largest of them), which stopped work due to the pandemic and created queues, manufacturing facilities were booked by consumer electronics manufacturers in the wake of increased demand for smartphones, computers, TVs and others. things necessary for remote work and self-isolation. Taiwanese TSMC faced a record drought in 56 years, due to which the company's water reservoirs in May 2021 were only 11% -23% full, and in March 2021 in Japan, the production of silicon wafers of the company "Renesas" - the third largest manufacturer of auto components in the world.

The shortage of chips affected everyone - both luxury car manufacturers and popular ones. In April, Jaguar Land Rover was forced to stop the work of two plants in Great Britain, AvtoVAZ stopped line 1 from June 7 to 9 and lines 3 and 5 from June 7 to 11 due to the lack of Era-GLONASS units ... By the end of June, AvtoVAZ found a way to continue production - it began selling cars in simplified configurations. So, "Lada Vesta" is now supplied without buttons on the steering wheel, cruise control and multimedia system.

Anton Shaparin also points out that now there is no difference between the class of cars and the country of production of the car: everything depends on the chips.

- In France, buyers of new cars are paid an additional 500 euros if they abandon the digital device in favor of the old analog one. As for manufacturability, even in a car developed at the end of the 60s, there are already electrical units. Both the engine control unit and other components are ancient, but microchips. There is no getting away from this. A modern car is generally, in fact, a gadget that simply has an engine. And therefore the same "Lada" is also subject to all this.

And the deficit is fueled by demand: people are ready to buy even highly expensive cars. The data of the Association of European Businesses (AEB) show that 871 thousand cars were sold in the first half of 2021, which is 5.1% more than in the dock 2019. Although before 2013, when the grass was greener, the trees are taller and the dollar is lower, it is still a long way off. Then, in the first 6 months , 1.33 million cars were sold. Manufacturers are no longer pulling. But in the expectation that soon cars will become even more expensive, and there will be less money in the stash, people are ready to lay out large sums right here and now. According to Rosstat, new foreign cars have risen in price by 17.5% over the year, new domestic cars - by 12.2%. And for 2 years the growth was 25.5% and 21.6%. There is not such a big difference between domestic cars and foreign cars. But what about localization, import substitution, which were supposed to untie the domestic auto industry from the dollar and euro exchange rates? All this remained in the plans of the officials. Anton Shaparin generally advises to forget about the division of cars into "domestic" and "foreign cars".

- The car has long ceased to be domestic or foreign car - it is global. Today, in Avtovaz's "works of art" too, a significant part of the components are imported, therefore the currency component is huge.

If a car is assembled from Russian components, this does not mean that it is domestic. Auto parts are often made from imported raw materials and parts. Such "hidden imports" can account for a significant portion of the cost of a machine. Research has shown that Lada Vesta is domestic (if you look at production costs) only by 47%, Lada Largus - by 27%, and Lada XRAY - only by 22%. And this is data from 2016, when the average dollar exchange rate was 66.9 rubles. Now the dollar is almost 12% more expensive, which means that imports can occupy a large share - there has been no significant progress over the past 5 years. Even the flagship limousine "Aurus Senat", the pride of Russia, has no more than 53% of parts and components for domestic products.

In general, I would like to believe that the rise in prices is due exclusively to objective market factors: the absence of microchips, steel, which has more than doubled in price over the year ... But the situation is much more prosaic. At the forefront is the desire to seize the moment and cash in on those who do not make cars, but sell to dealers. According to Anton Shaparin, they are responsible for the formation of current prices.

- Expensive steel is not a decisive factor. Over 90% of the problems are the efforts of car dealers, who for many years were in the conditions of forced discounts when you can't make much money. They got the opportunity to manipulate public opinion, telling everyone that we have a terrible shortage, there are no cars and there never will be any more, and now is the last chance to buy a car. Therefore, they raise prices a lot. The price increase for the most popular models reaches 1.5 million rubles. If you don’t want it, don’t take it. Because the globally advertised methods of buying a car online (which, for example, Hyundai promoted very actively) do not work at all. There is no online car and will not be. Unfortunately this is not possible.

Naturally, it would be wrong to think of dealers as predators and manufacturers as innocent victims. Market chaos is possible only with their tacit consent.

- Usually, automakers are very tightly controlled by all kinds of complaints against dealers. And now these dealers have been given the green light. Unfortunately, all complaints are sent to the trash can, and no one cries out for the sellers. Therefore, they really do what they want. And they want money. So there are options when car rugs start to cost 100 thousand rubles, car alarms - 200 thousand rubles.

At first glance, this is an ideal situation for the government to intervene and begin to regulate prices. It's not even sugar, here the amount is much higher. And the significance is serious: the provision of transport allows the economy to develop. But the state is powerless. And sometimes it even plays into the hands of greedy dealers. So, for example, an automaker cannot dictate to dealers at what price to sell cars, much less limit the upper price bar. This is already a conspiracy and violation of antimonopoly legislation, the FAS will issue a fine for this. And it's legal to charge three prices for every sneeze. You can also remember the import duties and excise taxes, which fence our market from the flow of used cars from other countries. But, as Anton Shaparin explains, their cancellation will lead to big problems for Russian automakers, which have a huge staff of employees and have entered into investment agreements with the state - SPICs:

- The only way that the government could apply is to reduce customs duties on used cars, then the flow of cars from abroad will rush into the market. But no one will do this, because it contradicts the entire state policy of the last 15 years.

It turns out that in the near future there are no options - the car will continue to become more and more luxury. This even plays into the hands of the government - the list of cars that fall under the luxury tax (increased vehicle tax) is constantly expanding. In 2018, this list included 1,040 items, and now the Ministry of Industry and Trade has 1,387 car models. As a result, all hope is only for the limited purchasing power of the population. Sooner or later, the money in the stash will run out. And along with them - and the rush demand. You just have to wait - advises Anton Shaparin:

- Prices cannot and will not stay at the same level as now. Our economy is not growing at such a pace to withstand this rise in prices. Therefore, as soon as the excitement subsides, immediately everything will return plus or minus to square one. Moreover, dealers will also need to report to carmakers for the sales plan, and discounts will begin instead of cheating. So this period just needs to wait out.

Of course, we will never see the prices of 2019, but the fact that crazy dealer cheats will be replaced by discounts and other special conditions is already good. And then the availability of cars will depend only on whether the government will cope with the task of developing the economy and raising salaries for Russians. For themselves, officials have already solved the problem of affordable cars by releasing the Aurus Senat for only 18 million rubles in the basic configuration. If you can't buy bread, eat cakes.