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Borneo discounts 50 Toyotas for online sale

Leow Ju-Len
20/04/2020

A flash sale till Friday night sees five Toyota models on sale with promo pricing and three interest-free installments

SINGAPORE — Showrooms are still closed, but Toyota distributor Borneo Motors is the latest car company here to put its wares online. The company is discounting five Toyota models for a flash sale that ends one minute before midnight on Friday, April 24th 2020.

The sale involves 10 units each of the Vios (a small saloon), the Sienta (a budget seven-seater), the Prius+ (a petrol-electric hybrid seven-seater), the Previa (a full-size seven-seater) and the Harrier (a sport utility vehicle aimed at executives).

Buyers don’t actually finalise the sale online; instead they place a S$2,000 deposit by leaving credit card details. Borneo says it hangs on to the deposit for seven days and only deducts it if the sale goes through.

The flash sale knocks thousands off the cars’ prices. The Toyota Vios is on sale for S$73,888 (all prices here include Certificate Of Entitlement), versus a standard price of S$76,888 as listed on Borneo’s website.

Bigger cars are more heavily discounted. At S$112,888, the Prius+ is S$5,000 cheaper, while a basic Harrier is now available for S$132,888, or S$7,000 less.

Borneo is also waiving three months’ interest payments for buyers who snag their car during the sale, a move designed to help customers through “this very difficult period”, according its website.

By our reckoning, the interest payable on a seven-year loan for the Toyota Vios with a 30 percent down payment is S$119.82 a month, using the 2.78 percent interest rate listed on Borneo’s website. That entails saving S$359.47 over the three-month interest-free period.

With car showrooms deemed non-essential and forced to close since April 7, 2020, dealers have seen revenues run dry. Borneo’s move to set the cash register ringing again with an online sale follows Cycle & Carriage Kia’s warehouse sale event, which sees heavy discounting on a number of models

Mazda Singapore is also offering discounts for online transactions made with Paynow, the payment gateway that local banks operate jointly.

In all likelihood, the sales are unlikely to make a huge difference to car companies’ fortunes, given how they are limited in scope. If nothing else, they give local dealers a chance to experiment with online retail, and could nudge buyers off the fence — if someone was already itching to drive a new Toyota, for instance, why not provide the motive and opportunity? 

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