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Idle-stop brings Benz C-class savings

Taxing times: Mercedes-Benz used its announcement of the more fuel-efficient C-class variants as an opportunity to lash out at the federal government’s luxury car tax.

Mercedes-Benz passes on Luxury Car Tax savings as some C-class models get idle-stop

6 Feb 2012

LUXURY Car Tax savings of up to $2300 have been passed onto customers as the advent of idle-stop on petrol four-cylinder variants of the MY2012 Mercedes-Benz C-class nudges combined fuel consumption figures below seven litres per 100 kilometres.

Beating the federal government’s LCT fuel-efficiency threshold has reduced the price of entry to a C200 by a modest $300 to $58,600 (plus on-road costs) for the sedan and $60,600 for the wagon.

The fitment of idle-stop, which automatically turns off the engine when the vehicle comes to a halt and restarts it when it is time to move off, has caused the C200’s fuel consumption to drop from 7.2L/100km to 6.8L/100km for both the sedan and wagon.

A larger $2300 cost saving is applied to the more powerful and expensive C250, now available from $65,600 in sedan form (down from 7.3L/100km to 6.9L/100km) and $67,700 for the wagon (down from 7.4L/100km to 6.9L/100km).

In its press release announcing the changes, Mercedes-Benz lashed out at the LCT scheme, which applies to cars priced higher than $57,466 unless they are deemed fuel-efficient, in which case the bar rises to $75,375.

4 center imageLeft: Mercedes-Benz C200 sedan and C250 wagon. Below: All-new BMW 3 Series line-up.

Mercedes said it does not believe that any vehicle purchaser should have to pay LCT.

“It is a tax on technology and safety,” the company argued.

“No other so-called luxury purchase is subject to such a regressive, discriminatory and inequitable tax.”

The 33 per cent levy is applied to the purchase amount above the relevant threshold rather than the entire vehicle price, so a C200 sedan buyer can also now save 33 per cent on up to $16,775 worth of extras before they hit the LCT threshold.

Lopping $2300 from the C250 has given Benz a $1300 price advantage over the new F30 BMW 328i that will be launched in Australia next month, although BMW’s entry-level petrol variant, the 320i, will still undercut the C200 by $1000.

Both four-cylinder petrol 3 Series variants consume 0.6L/100km less fuel than their Mercedes equivalents.

Last year, Toyota Australia executive vice-president David Buttner also spoke out against the luxury car tax.

Mr Buttner’s comments were made amid reports of evaders using a loophole to rort the system and in reference to Toyota having the country’s highest sales of LCT-eligible vehicles despite being a mainstream brand.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has called for a reform of the taxation system and stands by 2010 Henry taxation review, which recommended the abolition of the LCT.

The C-class sedan and wagon, which were facelifted in May last year, accounted for 6428 sales in 2011 (down 4.0 per cent), 1375 more than the 3 Series, which was down 16.8 per cent.

Mercedes-BenzC-class pricing (before on-roads):
C200BlueEFFICIENCY sedan (a)$58,600(-$300)
C200BlueEFFICIENCY wagon (a)$60,600(-$300)
C200 CDI sedan (a)$60,900
C200 CDI wagon (a)$62,900
C250BlueEFFICIENCY sedan (a)$65,600(-$2300)
C250BlueEFFICIENCYwagon (a)$67,600(-$2300)
C250 CDI sedan (a)$67,900
C250 CDI wagon (a)$69,900
C300 sedan (a)$84,900
C350 CDI sedan (a)$94,400

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