Cash for clunkers drives price

Sale prices of made-in-Myanmar jeeps and other vehicles have jumped by up to 40 percent since the government started accepting the vehicles on July 14 in exchange for import permits, say car traders.

Vehicle traders from Mandalay’s Pyi Gyi Myat Shin car trading zone said demand for the vehicles – and the import slips they can be exchanged for – is huge and prices have climbed by up to K2 million a car.

Trader Ko Win Myint Oo said prices have reached K5.9 million, up from K4.5 million for a comparable vehicle in June.

At the same time, prices for some other early-model cars have declined and sales have slowed.

U Maung, another dealer, predicted that vehicle import permits prices are likely to fall later when large numbers of vehicles are handed in and more permits are released. He said the import permit system might even be scrapped in 2015.

“The strong demand for imports will eventually cause the price to fall when more become available,” he said. “And I think the slip market will disappear eventually. But jeeps are selling very well now.”

He added that people who want the latest model should buy quickly – at least by the end of the year – or risk paying tax in 2015.

“If you want the latest model, purchases should be completed by 2014, because in 2015 you will have to pay the full tax owed on imports,” he said, referring to the 20 percent tax reduction offered for import permits generated by handing in made-in-Myanmar vehicle.

More than 90,000 vehicles were produced in Myanmar assembly factories, including jeep models that were popular with the public until the motor import policy was radically changed in September 2011.


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