Drive a bargain ... Only one careless owner
25 November 2008
Damien Murphy, Sydney Morning Herald
Oh Lord, won't you sell my Mercedes-Benz
My friends all lost fortunes I must make amends.
(With apologies to Janis Joplin.)
PICKLES Auctions last night had its biggest sale of repossessed luxury cars in years, and a quarter of the vehicles that went under the hammer were Mercedes. And 80 per cent of the late model German cars had been repossessed. The repo men also offered a large haul of BMWs, Audis, Porsches and a Ferrari for finance companies to recoup some of their losses.
The auctioneers reckon the novated lease on one, a 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG (RRP $160,000) with only 2979 kilometres on the clock, must have been signed only the day after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy last September.
The chief Pickles auctioneer, Steve Allen, said nearly 60 per cent of the cars were repossessed. He blamed economic times and expected worse to come.
"There's been a steady increase in repossessions in recent months, but the real story is the number of people attending our auction who are after a bargain in these straitened times.
"We would have been lucky to get 500 early in the year, but now we've got 1500 looking at the vehicles."
Pickles offered about 100 vehicles at its quarterly auction of luxury and prestige cars at the Royal Hall of Industries in Moore Park last night.
"I guess luxury cars for executives are one of the first things to go when times turn tough," he said.
The downturn had only really started this month. At Pickles's September quarter sale, only about 80 cars were on the block, and most of them were private sales.
Mr Allen said there had been a big rise in the number of luxury cars coming up for sale at Pickles's auction in Melbourne on December 9.
"As a barometer on the economy, Melbourne normally lags well behind Sydney, but we've already got some 22 cars coming up for auction down there next month, and the dealers will flood in in the days before.
"Strangely enough we've got a huge number of prestige cars coming up in Queensland, which suggests the economy up there is not going all that well."