It’s well known that many of the brands of car and van are just that – brands – which are actually manufactured in part or whole by different companies to the badge on the boot.

Take one of the most straightforward – Volkswagen-Audi Group (VAG) which has 4 main sub-brands in VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda all of which share the same parts, compete with each other but also complement each other by targeting slightly different markets and they are priced accordingly.  Other than looks there’s not much physical difference between the VW Golf, Audi A3, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia although the latter does have a very big boot.

Peugeot and Citroen are part of the same PSA Group and have long operated in a similar manner.  But they now have a joint venture with Toyota and in 2005 set up a separate company to manufacture cars such as the 108, C1 and Aygo, all of which are essentially the same vehicle.  Vans too are manufactured together.

Nissan and Renault agreed a strategic partnership in 1999 and now most of their cars and vans have an equivalent such as the Nissan Juke and the Renault Captur.  In 2010 Daimler were brought into an alliance with Renault-Nissan and so now some projects involve Mercedes-Benz.

I could go on but suspect you’ve got the point.  What used to be distinct brands simply aren’t now.  Traditional values attached to brands are no longer valid.  For instance, Japanese cars were always viewed as more reliable than most but more expensive to fix when they did go wrong.  Can that still be the case when cars are designed by a global arrangement, parts are shared and different brands even assembled by the same factory?

So is there any point in buying a premium motor when there’s a sibling vehicle available at a cheaper price?  Clearly the public thinks there is as the Golf and A3 outsell their VAG equivalents by quite a margin.  Leaving aside the intangible value of a premium image, if you intend to keep your new car for 10 years or more until it has little financial value left then plumping for the outright bargain makes sense.  But most drivers don’t keep their vehicles for more than 4 years and therefore the resale value becomes as important (though many buyers don’t give it much thought) as the original purchase price.  Hence the Audi A3, whilst more costly initially, may actually be a better choice as, due to that intangible premium image, it holds its value better than its VAG cousins.

It’s the same principle with leasing and sometimes the “expensive” cars are less costly on contract hire than their equivalents and sometimes they aren’t.  Fortunately, with leasing, all the numbers and variables are crunched for you and a good leasing specialist can find the best deals and offer a choice.  If the premium brand is the lowest rate then it’s an easy decision but if not you decide how much value the respective images hold for you and make the call.

If you’d like to know more about how leasing works and how it could work for you, please get in touch.  If you think others would be interested in this post, please share it.

Matt Spivey

Vehicle Leasing Neva Consultants
Left the corporate world in 2013 after ten years at Vodafone and now specialising in car and van leasing with Neva Consultants.Serial networker and member of BNI Wakefield Wealthbuilders, 4Networking and The TradesHub Academy South Yorkshire.

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