Monday, February 20, 2017

May 25 17, 9:56 am

Abu Dhabi Police busts car scam ring

The Abu Dhabi Police has busted a car scam syndicate with the arrest of the criminal gang’s 54 members, who allegedly defrauded investors of up to Dh1.3 billion.

‘May kotse na ‘ko!’

by

Ramadan is the season of giving– and of much-awaited car sales as dealers roll out unbelievable offers in the traditional spirit of generosity.

Most Filipinos, especially those who have been in the UAE for quite a while and saved enough, take advantage of these offers to finally get a car of their choice.

Such has been the trend that even car dealers interviewed by The Filipino Times said Filipinos comprise up to 30 percent of their sales during the holy month.

A number of Filipinos randomly interviewed by The Filipino Times expressed plans to take the opportunity and buy a car, even citing their preferences.

Others said the traffic situation is making them think otherwise. Still others were of the opinion the buying cars while working abroad is only in the domain of those who plan to stay for years or whose business or employment necessitates such investment.
Nevertheless, all agree that, given a chance, they would seriously consider buying a car during the holy month because deals are definitely better.

“Last year pa sana ako bibili but I had other priorities back then. This time, as I have also saved enough, I think I’m going to go for it,” said Macky Aldrones, a medical practitioner.

Anicia Gerer, who works in Media City, said she had been planning to buy a car for some time. “My friends would always tell me to wait till Ramadan,” she said.

There are five reasons why people, who know how best to spend their money, buy cars during Ramadan: down payment, installment plans, insurance, service warranty, loan interest rate.

Officials said the number of Filipinos who own cars in the UAE runs in the thousands.

Up to 100% down payment on the dealer

“Nissan down payment is on us,” said Humayun Alam, Al Masaood Automobiles sales general manager. Al Masaood Automobiles is official dealer of Nissan, Renault, and Infiniti in Abu Dhabi.

“We offer a 20% down payment on us, therefore they can drive the car away with nothing to pay,” Alam added.
Mitsubishi is offering zero initial deposit, too; while BMW and MINI is offering 15% complimentary down payment. Volvo and Dodge are rolling out up to 20% dealer down payment in the house – the dealer foots the bill. Infiniti is covering 100% down payment.
Buy now, pay next year

Toyota is offering an out-of-this-world deal: buy now, pay in the next Ramadan.

“This year’s Ramadan offers include deferred payments for up to 12 months on select vehicles, with Al-Futtaim Motors covering up to 8 months of payments,” said Susan Kazzi, head of communications at Al-Futtaim Motors, dealer of Toyota and Lexus.

“Customers looking to purchase any of the Corolla, RAV4, Camry, Prado, and Toyota Land Cruiser, will be able to avail of 12 months deferred payments through Al-Futtaim Motors and their banking partners, with a low annual percentage rate (APR) of 3% and 3.1%,” she added.

Nissan has its own deal: a beast of an SUV – the Nissan Patrol Titanium V8 – that you can drive home for free and pay next year. Mitsubishi is giving away the Lancer at Dh566 a month – much, much lower than an average OFW’s Dh900 monthly bed space.

Range Rover Sport can be taken home on a 5% cash back or two-year free financing with a five-year maintenance and warranty. Jaguar has up to a five-year interest-free financing and 10% cash back, also with a five-year service and maintenance warranty plus roadside assistance.

Free insurance

BMW and Infiniti are giving a year’s free insurance and so does Mercedes Benz, which is also rolling out add-ons like a three-year service package. One year complimentary insurance also goes with the Jaguar XJ sedans.

Zero interest

Toyota is offering a year-long 0% installment plan simply by transferring credit to an Al-Futtaim card from yours without service charge. Kia has as low as 1.99% interest rate for up to five years.

Warranties

Toppings on the deals are the warranties. Toyota has up to four years free maintenance; Land Rover, Jaguar, BMW, Honda, Infiniti, Kia and Mitsubishi have five year; Nissan, three; and Volvo, two years. Mercedes Benz offers a two-year “smart repair” option.

Season of giving

C.V. Ravin, Al Habtoor Motors general manager for Mitsubishi sales, said customers get a chance to win five Lancer EX models in Dubai and another five in Sharjah for a purchase made.

Al Habtoor Motors is the exclusive distributor of Mitsubishi, Fuso, Chery, JAC, Bentley, Bugatti and McLaren among others, in the UAE.
“During Ramadan, traditionally there is a great deal of buying,” said Colin Cordery, regional managing director at Al-Futtaim Honda, sole distributor of Honda vehicles and motorcycles, and a part of Al-Futtaim Automotive Group.

“Also,” he added, “automotive distributors tend to offer exciting deals during Ramadan which further fuels customer purchase.”
“Ramadan is a month which celebrates generosity and giving. Also, it being a blessed month, people prefer to purchase things that they cherish. Therefore, it becomes an opportune time for car dealers to come up with best offers, which result in customer delight and enhanced business,” said Sriram Iyer, JAC Motors brand manager.

The Pinoy as a car buyer
Car dealers look to the Filipino community as a huge market with some saying Pinoys comprise up to 30% of their clientelle. Most Filipino car buyers look for quality, durability and reliability, which fit right into some of the products on offer, other dealers said.

“Our Filipino customers form around 4% to 5% of our customer base, the majority of which comes from Dubai as opposed to other emirates, while the median age for both male and female buyers is 35-44 years old, followed closely by 25-34 across both segments. Male buyers account for 54% of Filipino buyers,” said Suzan Kazzi, head of communications at Al-Futtaim Motors.

She said Pinoys are split between SUV fans and passenger car buyers with RAV4 dominating sales among those who prefer SUVs, followed by Fortuner and Prado. Toyota Corolla tops the sales in the sedan segment, followed by Yaris and the Hatchback.

“Most Filipino buyers look for quality, durability and reliability,” said Kazzi, adding that many of their customers have been in the Toyota family for generations, including the Filipino community. “Owning a Toyota is something many people aspire for, and during Ramadan we try to make this dream a reality for everyone, for Filipinos particularly,” she said.

Al-Futtaim Motors is exclusive distributor of Toyota and Lexus.

Another car dealership that look to Pinoys as a major market is Al Masaood Automobiles in Abu Dhabi. “We consider the Filipino community one of our main target audience,” said Humayun Alam, the company’s sales general manager.

Al Masaood Automobiles is official dealer of Nissan, Renault, and Infiniti in Abu Dhabi.

For his part, Sriram Iyer, JAC Motors brand manager, said up to15% of their clientele are discerning Filipinos who want their money’s worth, when they purchase a car, typically, SUVs and sedans.

Abu Dhabi Police busts car scam ring

The Abu Dhabi Police has busted a car scam syndicate with the arrest of the criminal gang’s 54 members, who allegedly defrauded investors of up to Dh1.3 billion.

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