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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Car Comparing

It's a well documented fact that we as Malaysians, pay more for our cars. Ever since the dawn of the Proton Saga launch, some 25 years ago, imported car prices have cost at least 30-60% of the equivalent locally produced vehicles. Malaysians dreaming of a City or Vios would have to settle for a Persona or Myvi. Those wishing for a Wish or Stream would have to be content with an Exora or the Alza. All for the reason of protecting our 'national pride', Proton. Well, as the Proton saga continues with no definite end in sight, lets check out the selling price for cars outside Malaysia and dwell on what if's.

Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is quite the pinnacle of car manufacturing giants, Honda. Ever since its launch in 1976, the Accord has sold tens of millions worldwide. The price for a 2.4L Accord in Malaysia is at a hefty price of RM166035.

Its price in the US? $ 21855. Equivalent to RM74683!

Toyota Vios
Those with a bit of extra money looking for a compact economy car, its always the Honda City or the Toyota Vios. The car is sold at roughly around RM75000 here in Malaysia.

Called the Toyota Yaris Sedan over in the states, the car is sold at a starting price of $14165, which equals to RM48400.

Volkswagen New Beetle
The New Beetle is quite a common car at the US. So common is the beetle that it is even available at regular car rentals. That doesn't seem to be the case here in Malaysia as the selling price for the car is RM140000. The car is considered a luxury car here in Malaysia because of that price tag.

In the States, the car is selling for as low as $18700, equivalent to RM64000 only!

MINI Cooper
Here's another 'luxury' compact here in Malaysia with its mind bobbling price of RM238560. That is a real hefty price considering the small size of the car.

It's price in the States? The MSRP is nothing but $19500. Thats only RM66635. Take that!

Now for some serious luxury. The BMW has always been my dream car, albeit never actually driven one. The sheer looks of the car was always enough to mesmerize me. That's true beauty. The usual BMW 5 series you find in Malaysia is the BMW 530d and its close variants, nicely priced at RM376800.

By comparison, the BMW 535i, which, by model number is better than the 530d, sells for $51250, equivalent to just half of the Malaysian price, RM175130! Guess I'll need to sleep on.

Enter Sexy.

This is the 2007 Ferrari f430 Spider. The base price in the US is $193000. The equivalent cost in Malaysia would be RM660000. That's considerably lower than the RM1.3M you'd have to pay to own one in Malaysia.

The conclusion is that the imported cars in Malaysia are priced at least double it's price elsewhere.

Surprised? Disappointed? Wth? Don't be. Because this, is Boleh Land.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Malaysian Consumers

It's quite obvious that Malaysians tend to be quite on the low side when it comes to anything regarding consuming. We tend to waste, we tend to neglect, and we tend to be naive (among others) when it comes to consuming. And most importantly, most of us know nothing about the power and rights of the consumer. Luckily, this has not gone without notice and the relevant organizations are doing their bits to help Malaysians know and appreciate their role, power, responsibility and rights when being a consumer.

Recently, I was in a Tesco in Melaka when I experienced just how naive some of our consumers may be. I was waiting for a friend running his errands inside Tesco when I noticed one of the kiosks outside the supermarket was selling slimming jeans.

Yes you heard me the first time. Not slim jeans, but slimming jeans. Jeans that supposedly shreds your fat when you wear them.

From the poster at the kiosk, the jeans were supposedly made in Korea, and there were three sequential drawings (not even photographs) of the effects of wearing the jeans over time. Amused by the crowd the kiosk attracted, I decided to pop up an ear and go listen to what the seller had to say about such 'astonishing break through technology'.

The jeans turned out not to be jeans after all. They were but thick tights that were dyed in jeans like colors with pockets drawn onto them. The selling price was 50 ringgit. The jeans were designed for ladies. And here's how the conversation went between myself, the seller, and an over zealous lady costumer who was planning to buy the jeans (OZLCWWPTBTJ) :

Myself: So what are the jeans like?
Seller: (probably not hearing me properly because of the crowd) Even guys can wear it.
OZLCWWPTBTJ: Yes, you can wear it underneath your pants. Wear it like you would wear tights. That should be ok.
Myself: (asking the seller) How would it make you skinnier?
OZLCWWPTBTJ: They have infrared.

(As things were just about to become interesting, my friend came and we had to cut short the conversation)

Even IF the jeans did work, you would suspect a person wearing it over time would come to look like this, right? :)

Unless, that is, they come up with a shirt that would go with them jeans.