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Mercedes cuts followed by Jaguar, BMW and Audi



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Mercedes-Benz's well-publicised price cuts, though not quite what they may seem, were followed by reductions by Audi, BMW and Jaguar.

The average Mercedes cut is claimed to be 9%, with as much as 25% off the S600L, down to £77,000. Automatic transmission becomes a £1,450 option where it was standard on cars like the C240 and E240.

The removable front passenger seat and electric rear windows move onto the option list of the A-class Classic, allowing the base price to fall below £13,000, a first for a Mercedes.

Audi had already reduced prices of some models earlier in the year so the changes are addressed specifically at the A6, A8 and, perhaps surprisingly, the new A2. Entry price for the A2 is down by £800, though electric rear windows become a £200 option. The diesels - already looking expensive - are reduced less and by £280 to £450, meaning the premium over the petrol car has now risen to £1,500. A6 prices are reduced by an average of 10% and the A8 by 3% to 6%, though the S6 is down £9,500 to £54,760.

The BMW response is pitched differently. The claimed 10% average improvements typically comprises a 5% price cut and another 5% added value. That means the base 316 saloon is down only £925 to £17,570, but at the other extreme the M5 is cut by £8,000 to £52,000. The forthcoming X5 and Z8 are also included, with reductions of up to £2,795 and £6,650 respectively.

Jaguar seems to have been caught on the hop, having realised the 3% “value” enhancements of two weeks ago were insufficient. Now around 5% has been lopped off the list prices too, cutting the price of the S-Type by an average of £2,800 and the XJ and XK by an average of £4,000.

Chrysler has reduced prices of the soon-to-be-replaced Cherokee by up to £2,500. The entry-level 2.5 is down £2,000 to £15,995, with Orvis TD and 4.0 now £21,995. The Grand Cherokee is cut by up to £4,000, with the popular petrol and turbodiesel Orvis models now £27,995.

Saab has increased its standard specifications across the 9-3 and 9-5 ranges. The base 9-3 receives a higher torque 2.0 LPT turbo engine, SE versions get sports body styling and bigger alloys. The 9-5 has a more powerful 2.3 LPT turbo engine plus body styling additions and cruise control on the 9-5 SE. Prices are unchanged, starting at £16,795 for the 9-3 2.0t 3dr and £22,795 for the 9-5 2.0t.

Volkswagen has added an improved 1.6-litre engine to the Golf and Bora. Now with 16 valves, improved power, economy and emission levels, the prices remain unchanged, starting at £13,980 for the 1.6S Golf.

Seat has cut the price of the recently revised Alhambra MPV to ensure it remains the most competitively priced of the three offerings from VW, Ford and itself. The base 2.0 S is reduced by £800 to £16,999, the two 20-valve 1.8 turbos are down by £700 and the turbo diesels by £600, starting at £18,995 for the TDi PD S.

Alfa Romeo cut prices of most models a few months back and now the final pair, the Spider and GTV, are dealt with. List prices are reduced by 15%, cutting the Spider from £23,589 to £19,992 and the GTV 3.0 by £5,000 to £24,994.

Mitsubishi has upgraded the its Space Star compact MPV and added automatic derivatives. All cars now get manual aircon and a passenger airbag at no extra cost. The automatic models acquire lifestyle names Equippe and Elegance which will spread across the range for 2001 model year. The Equippe auto is £13,995 with the 1.8 GDi engine.

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