In the morning I open the site of one of the Audi dealers next door to the house. It would seem that the site was simply obliged to inform customers that something significant had changed in the dealer's life - for example, the prospect of an early closure of sales and service with original spare parts. An-no! In appearance, nothing has changed. The same pictures-sections familiar to the eye - "Lineup", "News", "Cars in stock", "TO Calculator", "Audi-credit"...
That's just when you click on the picture "Cars in stock" the section ceased to open at all. You are nervous, you think that the computer is frozen, but it turns out that "it's supposed to be". Other sections are still functioning, but the main one is no longer there! Either there are no cars left, or dealers are playing some strange game with buyers.
It remained to check the suspicions personally. And I went to the salon. I will say right away that there was no particular excitement. There was no queue of nervous customers who, by all means, want to take the last one. No one shouted, fought, and did not offer more than two Audis in one hand not to let go.
When I asked the girl at the reception if there were any cars for sale, the answer was yes! There is! What are you interested in? I replied that I had not exactly decided, but I was ready to be valued for the Audi Ku5 or Ku7. The girl happily summarized that she would immediately introduce her to the crossover sales manager. And he did show up a couple of days later.
A young man of about 30 named Ruslan was unusually sad from the first phrase and it seemed that from the threshold he already sympathized with a potential buyer.
- Are you considering Ku5? Ruslan asked in disbelief.
- Yes. - I am already confident, adding that everything, of course, depends on the price of a new German chariot. But Ruslan, it seems, was in the position of a partisan during interrogation and did not inject himself with the price of a particular car:
- What budget do you expect? In what configuration? - almost in a whisper muttered the seller. I had to pretend to be a teapot already and say that prices are changing very quickly now and it’s impossible to track them.
- Yes... Yes... - Ruslan nodded in response. Everything is expensive now.
- So, how much? How much is Ku5, which are available?
- Well .. (there came another long pause). If we talk about a car with an engine of two liters for 240 forces, then from 10 million. - finally squeezed out Ruslan. However, there was no certainty that a car that was sold for 5 million a month earlier would cost exactly 10 million. The particle "from .." was embarrassing, suggesting some cheating.
- Well, OK. I agreed. - And with what sums does the price of Ku7 start?
- From 15 million...
In general, I did not succeed in playing a buyer with such capital. And Ruslan, in turn, reluctantly admitted that the price of a particular car is the result of bargaining, in which the passionate desire of the client to buy the last copies of the German automobile industry before the departure of the automakers is the main and decisive factor.
Well, what else? Indeed, on Avto.ru, offers to buy a BMW X5 for 30 million hang without any shame! Even if you divide 30 "lyams" by the current euro exchange rate, you get a clear overkill. But there is simply nowhere to buy so many euros today.
And if Audi and Porsche still sell cars in Moscow, many others don't. Renault, for example, gives out cars only to those who paid for them before the "events". Mitsubishi does not issue or sell anything. Russian factories do not work and new copies are not supplied for any money. In the cabin of the Chinese Haval, all the cars are also sold and there is nothing in stock. But orders "in principle" are accepted. You can leave an advance payment for a future car, but there are no prices!
In the salons of Hyundai, life is glimmering. And there are even price tags on the cars. But those that take aback. The new Creta - 2 million 903 thousand (an increase of 600 thousand in a week), the average Tucson crossover is sold for 4 million 897 thousand rubles, and the Santa Fe - for 6 million 700 thousand! A month ago, a Mercedes GLS cost so much. But sellers say that deliveries have also been stopped - suppliers do not know at what dollar rate to sell goods.
The situation was best in the Volkswagen salon. Polo with a gun can be bought for 1 million 900 thousand, Tiguan - for 3.5 million, Tuareg - 8.5 million. At the same time, the sellers swore that they did not make any markups on the price tags and the cars were freely available ...
And yes, car dealers, who are so disliked by the mass consciousness, are very sorry today. On the one hand, out of habit they are obliged to pretend that everything is OK, that "everything is fine, beautiful marquise", and on the other hand, everyone understands that there is a complete misunderstanding with work and business. However, dealers do not want and cannot build relationships that are honest to the smallest detail with customers.
Sellers talk about the ruble falling into the abyss and that it is clearly "better to buy now than it will be later." When asked whether the work of the dealer will somehow change in the light of new events, the patter is answered that "the Porsche center will continue to work." It is noticeable that the text is memorized - probably, he had to answer such questions more than once in recent days.
It's just not clear why all of a sudden such confidence? Will the sanctions be canceled in a week? Will cars be smuggled into Russia? Hardly. Will the Germans, British, Americans, who have banned the export of luxury goods to Russia, suddenly forget that luxury cars and spare parts for them are a luxury for most Russians? And if it was not yet a luxury a couple of weeks ago, now it definitely will be.
A colleague of the author of these lines tried on March 15 to find original brake pads for a Mercedes E-class. Found it after a long call. For 74 thousand rubles!! A month earlier they cost around 20 thousand.
And okay pads, which, although with a creak, can be supplied from third-party manufacturers. But what about complex parts, nodes, including horror like expensive electronics?
And with a guarantee on recently bought cars? Who will change the warranty units and parts? How will they update the software of on-board computers if there is no direct connection with the servers of Audi, BMW, Mercedes?
No dealers of brands leaving Russia answer these questions. Their foreign partners made loud political statements, forgetting to notify the Russians of the specific consequences.
Our publication sent inquiries to a number of car dealers asking how the sanctions affected their activities, but no response has yet been received.
As a source in one of the Moscow dealerships of VolksWagen explained to Novye Izvestiya, market participants themselves do not fully understand what to expect. According to these data, many "paused the business" because the supply chains were interrupted - this situation affected all automakers, including those with plants located in Russia.
The interlocutor of the publication added that spare parts are now on the market "at the very least," however, things that are produced only abroad, for example, filter elements and electronic equipment, may gradually disappear. He concluded that "these problems may affect us in the near future - within weeks or several months."
Among the main difficulties are, firstly, the difference in exchange rates and, secondly, the fact that so far none of the Western companies have announced their final withdrawal from the Russian market. As the auto expert Igor Morzharetto told Novye Izvestia, "everyone says that they are suspending production and sales, and what exactly will happen next is complete silence."
The increase in prices for all cars is only the visible part of the iceberg called the car market. Alexander Shumsky , head of the Probok.net expert center, says that prices have increased from 60 to 120 percent over the week, and not only for new, but also for used cars.
The specialist noted that Hyundai Solaris - one of the most popular cars among taxi drivers - now costs two million seven hundred thousand rubles. It was not possible to find Lada Vesta cheaper than one million seven hundred thousand. Shumsky suggested that soon the price tag, including for the Zhiguli, would become unbearable for many Russians.
Well, it is impossible to make forecasts regarding the market now:
"Let's look at the transition period, 1-3 months. This is the period that McDonald's and many other retail chains have taken and stopped working ... all car factories have taken a break in order to change logistics, assess risks, including including foreign exchange, and it's easy to understand what will happen. If the military special operation stops on any acceptable conditions, then, I think, the car factories will remain. If the public opinion of Western countries is as negative as it is now, then Western manufacturers will simply have to leave Russia".
Shumsky also added that the nationalization of the enterprises of the departed foreign manufacturers, which the authorities are now discussing, will not help to cope with the difficulties in question: “Even our Avtovaz consists of more than 60 percent of Western components, to say nothing of directly to Western cars, so the nationalization of such plants simply will not allow in any way to save the production chains. "In general, experts agree that the Russian car market will fall in any case during the year, and Asian companies will take a large share of it. In other words, China...