Lets imagine we are in 1955, we’ve collected some money and we wish to buy a Siambretta (More precisely a Siamlambretta, according the year)
At that moment, the sales of the brand new Siambrettas were rapidly growing and offical concessionaries were opening all around the country. A clear evidence of that is this brochure -shown below- which where given in the Siambretta official concesionaries, printed by Siam, where it’s shown all the sales agents in the country.
As a well concessionary, in the middle of the explanation about the vehicle’s capabilities and quality, the sale’s agent give us some sales brochures. Here we give you some of them about the different Siambretta models.
Siambretta 150 LD
Línea Siambretta (Siambretta’s Line)
Siambretta 175 TV
Siambretta 175 AV
How much did the Siambretta cost?
One we known all about the different models, the sales agent tell us the prices. From differents old original advertisings -some of them are shown bellow- we can see that in 1955 a Siambretta 125 worthed $7580, while the price of a Siambretta de Lujo (LD) was $8980. On the other side, the price of a Siambretta 48 in 1958 was $10880 (all prices in Pesos Moneda Nacional, the currency of that time).
¡But that’s not all! Seeking in our historical archive, we’ve found the following sales brochure dated in August 1956, where the sales agent Fernández Velasco (from an unknown concesionary) left the handwritten evidence of that prices. Moreover, we can see that the prices mentioned in the last paragraph corresponded to the “base” Siambretta’s model, which didn’t include spare wheel, pasenger’s seat (and its handlebar) neither pasenger’s footrest, among others.
Based on this evidence, the price of a full Siambretta 125 estandar was $8235, while the Siambretta De Lujo was costing $9475 Moneda Nacional. But now, we ask ourselves: Did they keep that prices since the sales started? Or, in order to work around the inflation, did they keep the sales price and reduced the amount of accessories?
Let’s buy it!
Right! We’ve decided it!, we’re going to buy a Siamlambretta estándar model 1955! As it’s told early in this article, in the first period of Siam, sales demand was so high that there was a waitlist for the scooter delivery. For that reason, sales agent use to make Purchase Order to Siam, as it’s shown next.
Note that, in the purchase order, sales agent make it clear the previously agreed payment method which, as in this case, the client started to pay, even before the scooter was delivered to him.
After that, the invoice (and the correspondent receipts) were issued, as you can see next:
And finally, according to our evidence, after 5 month we could go ride happily around the city with our Siambretta!
We effectively know, according to comments of several original Siambretta’s owners, those delivery times corresponded to the first period of the brand, due the sales boom. In contrast, by 1960, the delivery of the sold scooters were immediate, as it’s shown in this Siambretta Ad.
But… How much the Siambretta would cost at the today’s cost-of-living?
Talking about a price in the past is something quite relative. The country passed through several economic crisis which produced inflation and, therefore, the cost-of-living increased as the time went on (even when the Siambretta was still in sale)
We could guess the nowadays price if we would change that scooter sale’s price to Dollars according the exchange rate of that moment. However, it’s still wrong, because the dollar has suffered changes due to it’s own inflation.
But we can guess the nowadays sale price if we do this exercise:
- In the example we show in this article, between January and July 1955, the Siambretta estándar’s price was $7580 Moneda Nacional.
- The Dollar’s exchange rate in January 1955 was $27.85 y, in June of the same year, was $33.25 Moneda Nacional; for our estimation, we could agree that te average Dollar’s exchange rate is $30.55 Moneda Nacional. So we could guess, in that period of time, the Siambretta price was U$S 248.
- The U.S. inflation made that one 1955’s dollar is equivalent to 9.37 current dollars. With this in mind, we can say the 1955 Siambretta 125 estándar’s sale price is -approximately- equivalent (at the January 2019’s cost-of-living) to U$S 2400. Doing the same exercise, the 1955 Siambretta 125 de Lujos sale price was approximately 2720 current U.S dollars.
Bearing in mind that the Siambretta’s customer segment was mainly working class people, it’s a relatively high price. It explains, indeed, why almost all the Siambretta advertising used to highlight the huge amount of financial plans, as we can see in the this Telia Automotores advertising.
Based on the August 1956’s sales brochure and doing the same procedure with a dollar’s exchange rate of $32.5:
- The price of the “base” model of the Siambretta 125 estándar was an equivalent to 2160 current U.S dollars and the “full” version’s price was an equivalent to 2348 current U.S dollars.
- The price of the “base” model of the Siambretta 125 de Lujo was an equivalent to 2560 current U.S dollars and the “full” version’s price was an equivalent to 2700 current U.S dollars.
As we can see, the price of the “full” version of both Siambretta models in 1955 was almost the same as in 1955 (in US dollars), thus we tend to think that this divition between base/full version was, effectively, an division adjustment in the Siambretta sale’s price, in detriment of the accesories quantity.
Finally, doing the same calculation, we arrive that the Siambretta 48 sale’s price was an equivalent of 2140 current U.S dollars.
Some things never change…
As we can see, the Siambretta wasn’t stranger to the financial crisis -typical of this country- which could sort out based on aggressive financial plans or final products reduction.
Even more, comparing that context with the nowadays one, it’s interesting to see how that finantial plans are quite similar to the ones that the banks are offering nowadays for buying scooters in the same equivalent price range… but of a very way low quality, clearly.
If the article was of your interest, here you have the PDF version of all the the sales brochure for HD printing.