Buyers shopping at the premium end of the new car market will hang onto a little extra pocket money from this week, with BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus and Porsche all moving to pass new savings onto customers.
Away from the prestige marques, overall market leader Toyota has announced that it too will treat its customers to the same benefits, available on a number of its large family cars.
Those savings are thanks to an increase in the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) threshold, which increased on July 1 by $1300 to $63,184. The threshold for ‘fuel efficient’ vehicles - those with fuel consumption figures of less than 7.0 l/100km - remains steady at $75,375.
BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have each opted to pass along the maximum applicable saving of $390, while Porsche has rounded the gesture up to an even $400.
Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle said that while the savings are not sizeable, “we see any reduction in the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) payable by our customers as a positive move”.
“The concession isn’t a huge sum of money, however we are not in favour of any tax that penalises luxury vehicle owners any more than buyers of other luxury items, therefore we are very pleased pass along any form of LCT reduction to our customers,” Doyle said.
David McCarthy, communications manager for Mercedes-Benz Australia, said that although the savings are “good news and will immediately flow on at the retail end”, the unchanged threshold for ‘fuel efficient’ vehicles is “discriminatory”.
“The non-change in the fuel efficient limit is discriminatory as it effectively penalises buyers who purchase more fuel efficient cars as opposed to rewarding those who don’t,” McCarthy said.
BMW Australia CEO Marc Werner took a less provocative tone, confirming only that the full $390 in savings will be passed to buyers of relevant models.
One model, however - the auto-equipped Kluger Grande 2WD - falls below the threshold with a price of $63,142 before on-road costs, but it too has been reduced this week by $377.
"Toyota is focused on building on a reputation that has seen Toyota repeatedly named Australia's most trusted automotive company," said Tony Cramb, Toyota Australia’s executive director of sales and marketing.
"Passing on benefits resulting from the changes to the Luxury Car Tax threshold is a natural step."