Two of the most important manufacturers within the sub-$20,000 new-car class say they haven’t any plans to vacate probably the most reasonably priced sector of the market. 

The 2 heavyweights of the sub-$20,000 small-car class – Kia and Suzuki – have pledged to proceed promoting automobiles in probably the most reasonably priced finish of the market, as an rising variety of rivals have vacated the section.

Manufacturers which have lately priced themselves out of the sub-$20,000 class embrace market chief Toyota, second-placed Mazda, and former budget-car king Hyundai.

Honda says it is not going to change the Jazz hatchback when the present mannequin reaches the tip of the road, Mitsubishi now solely has one entrant within the sub-$20,000 class, and Ford has been out of the price-sensitive section for greater than a 12 months.

The departure of mainstream manufacturers from the sub-$20,000 class has enabled Kia and Suzuki to amass a higher slice of the shrinking market. Chinese language newcomer MG can also be making inroads with a sub-$20,000 hatch.

When requested about any plans to vacate the reasonably priced finish of the new-car market, the boss of Kia Australia, Damien Meredith, mentioned “completely not”.

“We have now no plans to go away the sub-$20,000 section,” mentioned Mr Meredith.

Kia has two fashions within the sub-$20,000 section – the Picanto and Rio hatchbacks – which begin from $16,490 and $18,990 drive-away respectively.

Mr Meredith mentioned reasonably priced new vehicles had been typically a “stepping stone” into the model and will result in clients shopping for one other Kia afterwards.

“Hopefully, if we do a very good job, if the sellers do a very good job, then we maintain them within the model for the vehicles that comply with,” mentioned Mr Meredith.

When requested if foreign money stress or a higher push for earnings was forcing some manufacturers out of the sub-$20,000 class, Mr Meredith mentioned: “I’m little bemused by the actual fact rival manufacturers are both leaving the section or rising their costs dramatically (however) we imagine that’s given us some clear air.”

Mr Meredith added: “Competitors can come from the highest and are available from behind you and also you’ve obtained to be respectful of all competitors.”

The automotive trade veteran conceded it was powerful however not unimaginable to promote small vehicles profitability.

“The long run problem for the automotive trade has all the time been small vehicles equals small earnings,” mentioned Mr Meredith. “I believe what’s occurred is SUVs have given producers a possibility to generate profits elsewhere they usually don’t essentially have to depend on small vehicles or all the time have a small-car providing.”

Nevertheless, Mr Meredith mentioned, “we imagine it’s actually essential that you simply give early consumers, younger individuals, and retirees a possibility to purchase a protected, economical and reasonably priced new automotive.”

As an rising variety of producers are actually specializing in SUVs and utes, Kia says it has forecast development in passenger automotive gross sales within the coming years.

“We have now forecast there will probably be nonetheless be some quantity acquire as much as 2024 in passenger vehicles with Picanto, Rio and Cerato,” mentioned Mr Meredith. “We expect we are able to nonetheless get development out of these vehicles in what’s left of the passenger automotive market.”

In the meantime the boss of Suzuki Australia, Michael Pachota, mentioned the Japanese automotive maker had no plans to depart the sub-$20,000 sector.

“We have now three robust sellers within the sub-$20,000 section and we see it because the core of our enterprise,” mentioned Mr Pachota.

“We’re not going anyplace. In reality we proceed to put money into our vary at a time when different manufacturers are leaving the section.”

Within the sub-$20,000 section Suzuki sells the Swift, Ignis and Baleno small vehicles and has a sizeable slice of gross sales within the class.

“There’s nonetheless a gentle demand from shoppers searching for a protected, dependable and economical new automotive in that worth vary,” mentioned Mr Pachota.